Skip to main content

Full text of "Albert Gallatin"

See other formats

High School Library 
Idaho Falls 



3 1404 00 016 480 3 




P# f2^Q 





r > ^ 



5" v * 




Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 
Brigham Young University-Idaho 

<a>tanoart) ILibrar? Coition 





American Statesmen 




fe i/^r;Se3?re^ 


(€\)t fiiticr^i&c prc^s Cambridge 







Every generation demands that history shall be 
rewritten. This is not alone because it requires 
that the work should be adapted to its own point 
of view, but because it is instinctively seeking those 
lines which connect the problems and lessons of 
the past with its own questions and circumstances. 
If it were not for the existence of lines of this 
kind, history might be entertaining, but would 
have little real value. The more numerous they 
are between the present and any earlier period, the 
more valuable is, for us, the history of that period. 
Such considerations establish an especial interest 
just at present in the life of Gallatin. 

The Monroe Doctrine has recently been the pivot 
of American statesmanship. With that doctrine 
Mr. Gallatin had much to do, both as minister to 
France and envoy to Great Britain. Indeed, in 
1818, some years before the declaration of that 
doctrine, when the Spanish colonies of South Amer- 
ica were in revolt, he declared that the United 
States would not even aid France in a mediation. 
Later, in May, 1823, six months before the famous 


message of President Monroe, Mr. Gallatin had al- 
ready uttered its idea ; when about leaving Paris, 
on his return from the French mission, he said to 
Chateaubriand, the French minister of foreign 
affairs (May 13, 1823) : " The United States would 
undoubtedly preserve their neutrality, provided it 
were respected, and avoid any interference with the 
politics of Europe. . . . On the other hand, they 
would not suffer others to interfere against the 
emancipation of America." With characteristic 
vanity Canning said that it was he himself who 
"called the new world into existence to redress 
the balance of the old." Yet precisely this had 
already for a long while been a cardinal point of 
the policy of the United States. So early as 1808, 
Jefferson, alluding to the disturbed condition of 
the Spanish colonies, said : " We consider their 
interest and ours as the same, and that the object 
of both must be to exclude all European influence 
in this hemisphere." 

Matters of equal interest are involved in the 
study of Mr. Gallatin's actions and opinions in 
matters of finance. Every one knows that he 
ranks among the distinguished financiers of the 
world, and problems which he had to consider are 
still agitating the present generation. He was 
opposed alike to a national debt and to paper 
money. Had the metallic basis of the United 


States been adequate, he would have accepted no 
other circulating medium, and would have con- 
sented to the use of paper money only for purposes 
of exchange and remittance. In 1830 he urged 
the restriction of paper money to notes of one hun- 
dred dollars each, which were to be issued by the 
government. Obviously these must be used chiefly 
for transmitting funds, and would be of little use 
for the daily transactions of the people. Yet even 
this concession was due to the fact that the United 
States was then a debtor country, and so late as 
1839, as Mr. Gallatin said, " specie was a foreign 
product." For subsidiary money he favored silver 
coins at eighty-five per cent, of the dollar value, 
a sufficient alloy to hold them in the country. 
Silver was then the circulating medium of the 
world, the people's pocket money, and gold was 
the basis and the solvent of foreign exchanges. 

Great interest attaches to the application of some 
other of Gallatin's financial principles to more mod- 
ern problems ; and a careful study of his papers 
may fairly enable us to form a few conclusions. It 
may be safely said that he would not have favored 
a national bank currency based on government 
bonds. This, however, would not have been be- 
cause of any objection to the currency itself, but 
because the scheme would insure the continuance 
of a national debt. He was too practical, also, not 


to see that the ultimate security is the faith of the 
government, and that no filtering of that responsi- 
bility through private banks could do otherwise 
than injure it. Further, it is reasonably safe to 
say that he would favor the withdrawal both of 
national bank notes and of United States notes, 
the greenbacks so-called ; and that he would con- 
sent to the use of paper only in the form of certifi- 
cates directly representing the precious metals, gold 
and silver ; also that he would limit the use of 
silver to its actual handling by the people in daily 
transactions. He would feel safe to disregard the 
fluctuations of the intrinsic value of silver, when 
used in this limited way as a subordinate currency, 
on the ground that the stamp of the United States 
was sufficient for conferring the needed value, 
when the obligation was only to maintain the 
parity, not of the silver, but of the coin, with gold. 
He understood that, in the case of a currency which 
is merely subordinate, parity arises from the guar- 
anty of the government, and not from the quality 
of the coin ; and that only such excess of any subor- 
dinate currency as is not needed for use in daily 
affairs can be presented for redemption. This 
principle, well understood by him, is recognized in 
European systems, wherein the minimum of circu- 
lation is recognized as a maximum limit of un° 
covered issues of paper. The circulation of silver, 


or of certificates based upon it, comes within the 
same rule. 

At the time of the publication of this volume 
objection was taken to the author's statement that, 
until the publication of Gallatin's writings, his 
fame as a statesman and political leader was a 
mere tradition. Yet in point of fact, not only is 
his name hardly mentioned by the early biogra- 
phers of Jefferson, Madison, and J. Q. Adams, but 
even by the later writers in this very Series, his 
work, varied and important as it was, has been 
given but scant notice. The historians of the 
United States, and those who have made a spe- 
cialty of the study of political parties, have been 
alike indifferent or derelict in their investigations 
to such a degree that it required months of original 
research in the annals of Congress to ascertain 
Gallatin's actual relations towards the Federalist 
party which he helped to overthrow, and towards 
the Republican party which he did so much to 
found, and of which he became the ablest cham- 
pion, in Congress by debate, and in the cabinet by 

Invited by the publishers of the Statesmen Series 
to bring this study " up to date," the author has 
found no important changes to make in his work 
as he first prepared it. In the original investiga- 
tion every source of information was carefully ey* 


plored, and no new sources have since then been 
discovered. Mr. Gallatin's writings, carefully pre- 
served in originals and copies, and well arranged, 
supplied the details ; while the family traditions, 
with which the author was familiar, indicated the 
objects to be obtained. But so wide was the gen- 
eral field of Mr. Gallatin's career, so varied were 
his interests in all that pertained to humanity, phi- 
lanthropy, and science, and so extensive were his 
relations with the leaders of European and Amer- 
ican thought and action, that the subject could 
only be treated on the broadest basis. With this 
apology this study of one of the most interesting 
characters of American life is again commended to 
the indulgence of the American people. 

Newport, April, 1898. 



I. Early Life 1 

II. Pennsylvania Legislature • • 32 

III. United States Senate 56 

IV. The Whiskey Insurrection .... 67 
V. Member of Congress ...... 97 

VI. Secretary of the Treasury .... 170 

VII. In the Cabinet 279 

VIII. In Diplomacy 301 

IX. Candidate for the Vice-Presidency . . 355 

X. Society — Literature — Science . • . 361 

Index 391 


Albert Gallatin Frontispiece 

From the original painting by Gilbert Stuart, in the 
possession of Frederic W. Stevens, Esq., New York, N. Y. 

Autograph from the Chamberlain collection, Boston 
Public Library. 

The vignette of "Friendship Hill," Mr. Gallatin's 
home at New Geneva, Pa., is from a photograph. Pago 

Robert Goodloe Harper facing 98 

From a painting by St. M^min, in the possession of 
Harper's granddaughter, Mrs. William C. Pennington, 
Baltimore, Md. 

Autograph from a MS. in the New York Public 
Library, Lenox Building. 

Alexander J. Dallas facing 236 

From the original painting by Gilbert Stuart, in the 
possession of Mrs. W. H. Emory, Washington, D. C 

Autograph from the Chamberlain collection, Boston 
Public Library. 

James A. Bayard facing 312 

From a painting by Wertmiiller, owned by the late 
Thomas F. Bayard, Wilmington, Del. 

Autograph from the Chamberlain collection, Boston 
Public Library. 





Of all European-born citizens who have risen to 
fame in the political service of the United States, 
Albert Gallatin is the most distinguished. His 
merit in legislation, administration, and diplomacy 
is generally recognized, and he is venerated by 
men of science on both continents. Not, however, 
until the publication of his writings was the extent 
of his influence upon the political life and growth 
of the country other than a vague tradition. In- 
dependence and nationality were achieved by the 
Revolution, in which he bore a slight and unim- 
portant part; his place in history is not, therefore, 
among the founders of the Republic, but foremost 
in the rank of those early American statesmen, to 
whom it fell to interpret and administer the organic 
laws which the founders declared and the people 
ratified in the Constitution of the United States. 
A study of his life shows that, from the time of 
the peace until his death, his influence, either by 


direct action or indirect counsel, may be traced 
through the history of the country. 

The son of Jean Gallatin and his wife, Sophie 
Albertine Rollaz, he was born in the city of Ge- 
neva on January 29, 1761, and was baptized by 
the name of Abraham Alfonse Albert Gallatin. 
The name Abraham he received from his grand- 
father, but it was early dropped, and he was al- 
ways known by his matronymic Albert. The 
Gallatin family held great influence in the Swiss 
Republic, and from the organization of the State 
contributed numerous members to its magistracy; 
others adopted the military profession, and served 
after the manner of their country in the Swiss 
contingents of foreign armies. The immediate 
relatives of Albert Gallatin were concerned in 
trade. Abraham, his grandfather, and Jean, his 
father, were partners. The latter dying in 1765, 
his widow assumed his share in the business. She 
died in March, 1770, leaving two children, — Al- 
bert, then nine years of age, and an invalid daugh- 
ter who died a few years later. The loss to the 
orphan boy was lessened, if not compensated, by 
the care of a maiden lady — Mademoiselle Pictet 
— who had taken him into her charge at his fa- 
ther's death. This lady, whose affection never 
failed him, was the intimate friend of his mother 
as well as a distant relative of his father. Young 
Gallatin remained in this kind care until January, 
1773, when he was sent to a boarding-school, and 
in August, 1775, to the academy of Geneva, from 



which he was graduated in May, 1779. The ex- 
penses of his education were in great part met by 
the trustees of the Bourse Gallatin, — a sum left 
in 1G99 by a member of the family, of which the 
income was to be applied to its necessities. The 
course of study at the academy was confined to 
Latin and Greek. These were taught, to use the 
words of Mr. Gallatin, " Latin thoroughly, Greek 
much neglected." Fortunately his preliminary 
home training had been careful, and he left the 
academy the first in his class in mathematics, natu- 
ral philosophy, and Latin translation. French, a 
language in general use at Geneva, was of course 
familiar to him. English he also studied. He is 
not credited with special proficiency in history, 
but his teacher in this branch was Muller, the dis- 
tinguished historian, and the groundwork of his 
information was solid. No American statesman 
has shown more accurate knowledge of the facts 
of history, or a more profound insight into its 
philosophy, than Mr. Gallatin. 

Education, however, is not confined to instruc- 
tion, nor is the influence of an academy to be 
measured by the extent of its curriculum, or the 
proficiency of its students, but rather by its gen- 
eral tone, moral and intellectual. The Calvinism 
of Geneva, narrow in its religious sense, was 
friendly to the spread of knowledge; and had this 
not been the case, the side influences of Roman 
Catholicism on the one hand, and the liberal spirit 
of the age on the other, would have tempered its 
exclusive tendency. 


While the academy seems to have sent out few 
men of extraordinary eminence, its influence upon 
society was happy. Geneva was the resort of dis- 
tinguished foreigners. Princes and nobles from 
Germany and the north of Europe, lords and gen- 
tlemen from England, and numerous Americans 
went thither to finish their education. Of these 
Mr. Gallatin has left mention of Francis Kinloch 
and William Smith, who later represented South 
Carolina in the Congress of the United States; 
Smith was afterwards minister to Portugal; Colonel 
Laurens, son of the president of Congress, and 
special envoy to France during the war of the 
American Revolution; the two Penns, proprietors 
of Pennsylvania; Franklin Bache, grandson of 
Dr. Franklin; and young Johannot, grandson of 
Dr. Cooper of Boston. Yet no one of these fol- 
lowed the academic course. To use again the 
words of Mr. Gallatin, "It was the Geneva society 
which they cultivated, aided by private teachers 
in every branch, with whom Geneva was abun- 
dantly supplied." "By that influence," he says, 
he was himself "surrounded, and derived more 
benefit from that source than from attendance on 
academical lectures." Considered in its broader 
sense, education is quite as much a matter of asso- 
ciation as of scholarly acquirement. The influence 
of the companion is as strong and enduring as 
that of the master. Of this truth the career of 
young Gallatin is a notable example. During his 
academic course he formed ties of intimate friend 


ship with three of his associates. These were 
Henri Serre, Jean Badollet, and Etienne Dumont. 
This attachment was maintained unimpaired 
throughout their lives, notwithstanding the widely 
different stations which they subsequently filled. 
Serre and Badollet are only remembered from 
their connection with Gallatin. Dumont was of 
different mould. He was the friend of Mirabeau, 
the disciple and translator of Bentham, — a man 
of elegant acquirement, but, in the judgment of 
Gallatin, "without original genius." De Lolme 
was in the class above Gallatin. He had such 
facility in the acquisition of languages that he was 
able to write his famous work on the English Con- 
stitution after the residence of a single year in 
England. Pictet, Gallatin's relative, afterwards 
celebrated as a naturalist, excelled all his fellows 
in physical science. 

During his last year at the academy Gallatin 
was engaged in the tuition of a nephew of Made- 
moiselle Pictet, but the time soon arrived when 
he felt called upon to choose a career. His state 
was one of comparative dependence, and the small 
patrimony which he inherited would not pass to 
his control until he should reach his twenty -fifth 
year, — the period assigned for his majority. It 
would be hardly just to say that he was ambitious. 
Personal distinction was never an active motor in 
his life. Even his later honors, thick and fast 
though they fell, were rather thrust upon than 
sought by him. But his nature was proud and 


sensitive, and he chafed under personal control 
The age was restless. The spirit of philosophic 
inquiry, no longer confined within scholastic limits, 
was spreading far and wide. From the banks of 
the Neva to the shores of the Mediterranean, the 
people of Europe were uneasy and expectant. Men 
everywhere felt that the social system was threat- 
ened with a cataclysm. What would emerge from 
the general deluge none could foresee. Certainly, 
the last remains of the old feudality would be en- 
gulfed forever. Nowhere was this more thoroughly 
believed than at the home of Rousseau. Under 
the shadow of the Alps, every breeze from which 
was free, the Genevese philosopher had written 
his "Contrat social," and invited the rulers and 
the ruled to a reorganization of their relations to 
each other and to the world. But nowhere, also, 
was the conservative opposition to the new theories 
more intense than here. 

The mind of young Gallatin was essentially 
philosophic. The studies in which he excelled in 
early life were in this direction, and at no time in 
his career did he display any emotional enthusiasm 
on subjects of general concern. But, on the other 
hand, he was unflinching in his adherence to ab- 
stract principle. Though not carried away by the 
extravagance of Rousseau, he was thoroughly dis- 
contented with the political state of Geneva. He 
was by early conviction a Democrat in the broadest 
sense of the term. Indeed, it would be difficult 
to find a more perfect example of what it was 


then the fashion to call a citoyen du monde. His 
family seem, on the contrary, to have been always 
conservative, and attached to the aristocratic and 
oligarchic system to which they had, for centuries, 
owed their position and advancement. 

Abraham Gallatin, his grandfather, lived at 
Pregny on the northern shore of the lake, in close 
neighborhood to Ferney, the retreat of Voltaire. 
Susanne Vaudenet Gallatin, his grandmother, was 
a woman of the world, a lady of strong character, 
and the period was one when the influence of 
women was paramount in the affairs of men ; among 
her friends she counted Voltaire, with whom her 
husband and herself were on intimate relations, 
and Frederick, Landgrave of Hesse-Cassel, with 
whom she corresponded. So sincere was this lat- 
ter attachment that the sovereign sent his portrait 
to her in 1776, an honor which, at her instance, 
Voltaire acknowledged in a verse characteristic of 
himself and of the time : — 

11 J'ai baise* ce portrait charmant, 
Je vous l'avourai sans mystere, 
Mes filles en ont fait autant, 
Mais c'est un secret qu'il faut taire. 
Vous trouverez bon qu'une mere 
Vous parle un peu plus hardiment, 
Et vous verrez qu'^galement, 
En tous les temps vous savez plaire." 

At Pregny young Gallatin was the constant 
guest of his nearest relatives on his father's side, 
and he was a frequent visitor at Ferney. Those 
whose fortune it has been to sit at the feet of Mr. 


Gallatin himself, in the serene atmosphere of his 
study, after his retirement from active participa- 
tion in public concerns, may well imagine the in- 
fluence* which the rays of the prismatic character 
of Voltaire must have had upon the philosophic 
and receptive mind of the young student. 

There was and still is a solidarity in European 
families which can scarcely be said to have ever 
had a counterpart in those of England, and of 
which hardly a vestige remains in American social 
life. The fate of each member was a matter of 
interest to all, and the honor of the name was of 
common concern. Among the Gallatin s, the grand- 
mother, Madame Gallatin -Vaudenet, as she was 
called, appears to have been the controlling spirit. 
To her the profession of the youthful scion of the 
stock was a matter of family consequence, and she 
had already marked out his future course. The 
Gallatins, as has been already stated, had acquired 
honor in the military service of foreign princes. 
Her friend, the Landgrave of Hesse, was engaged 
in supporting the uncertain fortunes of the British 
army in America with a large military contingent, 
and she had only to ask to obtain for her grandson 
the high commission of lieutenant-colonel of one 
of the regiments of Hessian mercenaries. To the 
offer made to young Gallatin, and urged with due 
authority, he replied, that u he would never serve 
a tyrant; " a want of respect which was answered 
by a cuff on the ear. This incident determined 
his career. Whether it crystallized long-cherished 


fancies into sudden action, or whether it was of 
itself the initial cause of his resolve, is now mere 
matter of conjecture; probably the former. The 
three friends, Gallatin, Badollet, and Serre seem 
to have amused their leisure in planning an ideal 
existence in some wilderness. America offered a 
boundless field for the realization of such dreams, 
and the spice of adventure could be had for the 
seeking. Here was the forest primeval in its 
original grandeur. Here the Indian roamed un- 
disputed master; not the tutored Huron of Vol- 
taire's tale, but the savage of torch and tomahawk. 
The continent was as yet unexplored. In uncer- 
tainty as to motives for man's action the French 
magistrate always searches for the woman, — "cher- 
chez la femme!*' One single allusion in a letter 
written to Badollet, in 1783, shows that there was 
a woman in Gallatin's horoscope. Who she was, 
what her relation to him, or what influence she 
had upon his actions, nowhere appears. He only 
says that besides Mademoiselle Pictet there was 
one friend, "une amie," at Geneva, from whom 
a permanent separation would be hard. 

Confiding his purpose to his friend Serre, Gal- 
latin easily persuaded this ardent youth to join 
him in his venturesome journey, and on April 1, 
1780, the two secretly left Geneva. It certainly 
was no burning desire to aid the Americans in 
their struggle for independence, such as had stirred 
the generous soul of Lafayette, that prompted this 
act. In later life he repeatedly disclaimed any 


such motive. It was rather a longing for personal 
independence, for freedom from the trammels of 
a society in which he had little faith or interest. 
Nor were his political opinions at this time ma- 
tured. He had a just pride in the Swiss Republic 
as a free State (Etat libre), and his personal bias 
was towards the "Negatif ' party, as those were 
called who maintained the authority of the Upper 
Council (Petit Conseil) to reject the demands of 
the people. To this oligarchic party his family 
belonged. In a letter written three years later, 
he confesses that he was "Negatif " when he aban- 
doned his home, and conveys the idea that his 
emigration was an experiment, a search for a sys- 
tem of government in accordance with his abstract 
notions of natural justice and political right. To 
use his own words, he came to America to " drink 
in a love for independence in the freest country of 
the universe." But there was some method in this 
madness. The rash scheme of emigration had a 
practical side; land speculation and commerce 
were to be the foundation and support of the set- 
tlement in the wilderness where they would realize 
their political Utopia. 

From Geneva the young adventurers hurried to 
Nantes, on the coast of France, where Gallatin 
soon received letters from his family, who seem to 
have neglected nothing that could contribute to 
their comfort or advantage. Monsieur P. M. 
Gallatin, the guardian of Albert, a distant rela- 
tive in an elder branch of the family, addressed 



him a letter which, in its moderation, dignity, and 
kindness, is a model of well-tempered severity and 
reproach. It expressed the pain Mademoiselle 
Pictet had felt at his unceremonious departure, 
and his own affliction at the ingratitude of one to 
whom he had never refused a request. Finally, 
as the trustee of his estate till his majority, the 
guardian assures the errant youth that he will aid 
him with pecuniary resources as far as possible, 
without infringing upon the capital, and within 
the sworn obligation of his trust. Letters of re- 
commendation to distinguished Americans were 
also forwarded, and in these it is found, to the 
high credit of the family, that no distinction was 
made between the two young men, although Serre 
seems to have been considered as the originator of 
the bold move. The intervention of the Duke de 
la Rochefoucauld d'Enville was solicited, and a 
letter was obtained by him from Benjamin Frank- 
lin — then American minister at the Court of Ver- 
sailles — to his son-in-law, Richard Bache. Lady 
Juliana Penn wrote in their behalf to John Penn 
at Philadelphia, and Mademoiselle Pictet to Colo- 
nel Kinloch, member of the Continental Congress 
from South Carolina. Thus supported in their 
undertaking the youthful travelers sailed from 
L'Orient on May 27, in an American vessel, the 
Kattie, Captain Loring. Of the sum which Gal- 
latin, who supplied the capital for the expedition, 
brought from Geneva, one half had been expended 
in their land journey and the payment of the pas- 


sages to Boston ; one half, eighty louis d'or — the 
equivalent of four hundred silver dollars — re- 
mained, part of which they invested in tea. Reach- 
ing the American coast in a fog, or bad weather, 
they were landed at Cape Ann on July 14. From 
Gloucester they rode the next day to Boston on 
horseback, a distance of thirty miles. Here they 
put up at a French cafe, "The Sign of the Alli- 
ance," in Fore Street, kept by one Tahon, and 
began to consider what step they should next take 
in the new world. 

The prospects were not encouraging; the mili- 
tary fortunes of the struggling nation were never 
at a lower ebb than during the summer which 
intervened between the disaster of Camden and 
the discovery of Arnold's treason. Washington's 
army lay at New Windsor in enforced inactivity ; 
enlistments were few, and the currency was almost 
worthless. Such was the stagnation in trade, that 
the young strangers found it extremely difficult to 
dispose of their little venture in tea. Two months 
were passed at the cafe, in waiting for an oppor- 
tunity to go to Philadelphia, where Congress was 
in session, and where they expected to find the 
influential persons to whom they were accredited ; 
also letters from Geneva. But this journey was 
no easy matter. The usual routes of travel were 
interrupted. New York was the fortified head- 
quarters of the British army, and the Middle 
States were only to be reached by a detour through 
the American lines above the Highlands and be- 
hind the Jersey Hills. 


The homesick youths found little to amuse or 
interest them in Boston, and grew very weary of 
its monotonous life and Puritanic tone. They 
missed the public amusements to which they were 
accustomed in their own country, and complained 
of the superstitious observance of Sunday, when 
"singing, fiddling, card-playing and bowling were 
forbidden." Foreigners were not welcome guests 
in this town of prejudice. The sailors of the 
French fleet had already been the cause of one 
riot. Gallatin's letters show that this aversion 
was fully reciprocated by him. 

The neighboring country had some points of 
interest. No Swiss ever saw a hill without an 
intense desire to get to its top. They soon felt 
the magnetic attraction of the Blue Hills of Mil- 
ton, and, descrying from their summit the distant 
mountains north of Worcester, made a pedestrian 
excursion thither the following day. Mr. Gallatin 
was wont to relate with glee an incident of this 
trip, which Mr. John Russell Bartlett repeats in 
his " Reminiscences. " 

" The tavern at which he stopped on his journey was 
kept by a man who partook in a considerable degree of 
the curiosity even now-a-days manifested by some land- 
lords in the back parts of New England to know the 
whole history of their guests. Noticing Mr. Gallatin's 
French accent he said, ' Just from France, eh ! You 
are a Frenchman, I suppose.' ' No ! ' said Mr. Gal- 
latin, ' I am not from France.' * You can't be from 
England, I am sure ? ' ' No ! ' was the reply. i From 


Spain ?' 'No!' < From Germany ? ' 'No!' 'Well, 
where on earth are you from then, or what are you ? ' 
eagerly asked the inquisitive landlord. 'I am a Swiss,* 
replied Mr. Gallatin. ' Swiss, Swiss, Swiss ! ' exclaimed 
the landlord, in astonishment. * Which of the ten tribes 
are the Swiss ? ' " 

Nor was this an unnatural remark. At this time 
Mr. Gallatin did not speak English with facility, 
and indeed was never free from a foreign accent. 

At the little cafe they met a Swiss woman, the 
wife of a Genevan, one De Lesdernier, who had 
been for thirty years established in Nova Scotia, 
but, becoming compromised in the attempt to revo- 
lutionize the colony, was compelled to fly to New 
England, and had settled at Machias, on the north- 
eastern extremity of the Maine frontier. Tempted 
by her account of this region, and perhaps making 
a virtue of necessity, Gallatin and Serre bartered 
their tea for rum, sugar, and tobacco, and, invest- 
ing the remainder of their petty capital in similar 
merchandise, they embarked October 1, 1780, 
upon a small coasting vessel, which, after a long 
and somewhat perilous passage, reached the mouth 
of the Machias River on the 15th of the same 
month. Machias was then a little settlement five 
miles from the mouth of the stream of the same 
name. It consisted of about twenty houses and a 
small fortification, mounting seven guns and gar- 
risoned by fifteen or twenty men. The young 
travelers were warmly received by the son of Les- 
dernier, and made their home under his roof. 


This seems to have been one of the four or five 
log houses in a large clearing near the fort. Gal- 
latin attempted to settle a lot of land, and the 
meadow where he cut the hay with his own hands 
is still pointed out. This is Frost's meadow in 
Perry, not far from the site of the Indian village. 
A single cow was the beginning of a farm, but 
the main occupation of the young men was wood- 
cutting. No record remains of the result of the 
merchandise venture. The trade of Machias was 
wholly in fish, lumber, and furs, which, there 
being no money, the settlers were ready enough to 
barter for West India goods. But the. outlet for 
the product of the country was, in its unsettled 
condition, uncertain and precarious, and the young 
traders were no better off than before. One 
transaction only is remembered, the advance by 
Gallatin to the garrison of supplies to the value of 
four hundred dollars ; for this he took a draft on 
the state treasury of Massachusetts, which, there 
being no funds for its payment, he sold at one 
fourth of its face value. 

The life, rude as it was, was not without its 
charms. Serre seems to have abandoned himself 
to its fascination without a regret. His descrip- 
tive letters to Badollet read like the "Idylls of a 
Faun." Those of Gallatin, though more tempered 
in tone, reveal quiet content with the simple life 
and a thorough enjoyment of nature in its original 
wildness. In the summer they followed the tracks 
of the moose and deer through the primitive 


forests, and explored v the streams and lakes in 
the light birch canoe, with a woodsman or savage 
for their guide. In the winter they made long 
journeys over land and water on snowshoes or 
on skates, occasionally visiting the villages of the 
Indians, with whom the Lesderniers were on the 
best of terms, studying their habits and witnessing 
their feasts. Occasional expeditions of a differ- 
ent nature gave zest and excitement to this rustic 
life. These occurred when alarms of English in- 
vasion reached the settlement, and volunteers 
marched to the defence of the frontier. Twice 
Gallatin accompanied such parties to Passama- 
quoddy, and once, in November, 1780, was left 
for a time in command of a small earthwork and 
a temporary garrison of whites and Indians at that 
place. At Machias Gallatin made one acquaint- 
ance which greatly interested him, that of La 
Perouse, the famous navigator. He was then in 
command of the Amazone frigate, one of the 
French squadron on the American coast, and had 
in convoy a fleet of fishing vessels on their way to 
the Newfoundland banks. Gallatin had an intense 
fondness for geography, and was delighted with 
La Perouse' s narrative of his visit to Hudson's 
Bay, and of his discovery there (at Fort Albany, 
which he captured) of the manuscript journal of 
Samuel Hearne, who some years before had made 
a voyage to the Arctic regions in search of a 
northwest passage. Gallatin and La Perouse met 
subsequently in Boston. 


The winter of 1780-81 was passed in the cabin 
of the Lesderniers. The excessive cold does not 
seem to have chilled Serre's enthusiasm. Like 
the faun of Hawthorne's mythical tale, he loved 
Nature in all her moods ; but Gallatin appears to 
have wearied of the confinement and of his uncon- 
genial companions. The trading experiment was 
abandoned in the autumn, and with some expe- 
rience, but a reduced purse, the friends returned 
in October to Boston, where Gallatin set to work 
to support himself by giving lessons in the French 
language. What success he met with at first is 
not known, though the visits of the French fleet 
and the presence of its officers may have awakened 
some interest in their language. However this 
may be, in December Gallatin wrote to his good 
friend, Mademoiselle Pictet, a frank account of 
his embarrassments. Before it reached her, she 
had already, with her wonted forethought, antici- 
pated his difficulties by providing for a payment 
of money to him wherever he might be, and had 
also secured for him the interest of Dr. Samuel 
Cooper, whose grandson, young Johannot, was 
then at school in Geneva. Dr. Cooper was one 
of the most distinguished of the patriots in Boston, 
and no better influence could have been invoked 
than his. In July, 1782, by a formal vote of the 
President and Fellows of Harvard College, Mr. 
Gallatin was permitted to teach the French lan- 
guage. About seventy of the students availed 
themselves of the privilege. Mr. Gallatin re- 


ceived about three hundred dollars in compensa- 
tion. In this occupation he remained at Cam- 
bridge for about a year, at the expiration of which 
he took advantage of the close of the academic 
course to withdraw from his charge, receiving at 
his departure a certificate from the Faculty that 
he had acquitted himself in his department with 
great reputation. 

The war was over, the army of the United States 
was disbanded, and the country was preparing for 
the new order which the peace would introduce 
into the habits and occupations of the people. 
The long-sought opportunity at last presented it- 
self, and Mr. Gallatin at once embraced it. He 
left Boston without regret. He had done his duty 
faithfully, and secured the approbation and esteem 
of all with whom he had come in contact, but 
there is no evidence that he cared for or sought 
social relations either in the city or at the college. 
Journeying southward he passed through Provi- 
dence, where he took sail for New York. Stop- 
ping for an hour at Newport for dinner, he reached 
New York on July 21, 1783. The same day the 
frigate Mercury arrived from England with news 
of the signature of the definitive treaty of peace. 
He was delighted with the beauty of the country- 
seats above the city, the vast port with its abun- 
dant shipping, and with the prospect of a theatrical 
entertainment. The British soldiers and sailors, 
who were still in possession, he found rude and in- 
solent, but the returning refugees civil and honest 


people. At Boston Gallatin made the acquaint- 
ance of a French gentleman, one Savary de Val- 
coulon, who had crossed the Atlantic to prosecute 
in person certain claims against the State of Vir- 
ginia for advances made by his house in Lyons 
during the war. He accompanied Gallatin to New 
York, and together they traveled to Philadelphia ; 
Savary, who spoke no English, gladly attaching 
to himself as his companion a young man of the 
ability and character of Gallatin. 

At Philadelphia Gallatin was soon after joined 
by Serre, who had remained behind, engaged also 
in giving instruction. The meeting at Philadel- 
phia seems to have been the occasion for the dis- 
solution of a partnership in which Gallatin had 
placed his money, and Serre his enthusiasm and 
personal charm. A settlement was made; Serre 
giving his note to Gallatin for the sum of six 
hundred dollars, — one half of their joint expenses 
for three years, — an obligation which was repaid 
more than half a century later by his sister. Serre 
then joined a fellow-countryman and went to Ja- 
maica, where he died in 1784, At Philadelphia 
Gallatin and Savary lodged in a house kept by 
one Mary Lynn. Pelatiah Webster, the political 
economist, who owned the house, was also a boarder. 
I later he said of his fellow-lodgers that " they were 
well-bred gentlemen who passed their time con- 
versing in French." Gallatin, at the end of his 
resources, gladly acceded to Savary' s request to 
accompany him to Richmond. 


Whatever hesitation Gallatin may have enter- 
tained as to his definitive expatriation was entirely 
set at rest by the news of strife between the rival 
factions in Geneva and the interposition of armed 
force by the neighboring governments. This in- 
terference turned the scale against the liberal 
party. Mademoiselle Pictet was the only link 
which bound him to his family. For his ingrati- 
tude to her he constantly reproached himself. He 
still styled himself a citizen of Geneva, but this 
was only as a matter of convenience and security 
to his correspondence. His determination to make 
America his home was now fixed. The lands on 
the banks of the Ohio were then considered the 
most fertile in America, — the best for farming 
purposes, the cultivation of grain, and the raising 
of cattle. The first settlement in this region was 
made by the Ohio Company, an association formed 
in Virginia and London, about the middle of the 
century, by Thomas Lee, together with Lawrence 
and Augustine, brothers of George Washington. 
The lands lay on the south side of the Ohio, 
between the Monongahela and Kanawha rivers. 
These lands were known as "Washington's bot- 
tom lands." In this neighborhood Gallatin deter- 
mined to purchase two or three thousand acres, 
and prepare for that ideal country home which 
had been the dream of his college days. Land 
here was worth from thirty cents to four dollars 
an acre. His first purchase was about one thou- 
sand acres, for which he paid one hundred pounds, 


Virginia currency. Land speculation was the fever 
of the time. Savary was early affected by it, and 
before the new friends left Philadelphia for Rich- 
mond he bought warrants for one hundred and 
twenty thousand acres in Virginia, in Monongalia 
County, between the Great and Little Kanawha 
rivers, and interested Gallatin to the extent of 
one quarter in the purchase. Soon after the com- 
pletion of this transaction the sale of some small 
portions reimbursed them for three fourths of the 
original cost. This was the first time when, and 
Savary was the first person to whom, Gallatin was 
willing to incur a pecuniary obligation. Through- 
out his life he had an aversion to debt; small or 
large, private or public. It was arranged that 
Gallatin's part of the purchase money was not to 
be paid until his majority, — January 29, 1786, — 
but in the meanwhile he was, in lieu of interest 
money, to give his services in personal superinten- 
dence. Later Savary increased Gallatin's interest 
to one half. Soon after these plans were com- 
pleted, Savary and Gallatin moved to Richmond, 
where they made their residence. 

In February, 1784, Gallatin returned to Phila- 
delphia, perfected the arrangements for his expe- 
dition, and in March crossed the mountains, and, 
with his exploring party, passed down the Ohio 
River to Monongalia County in Virginia. The 
superior advantages of the country north of the 
Virginia line determined him to establish his head- 
quarters there. He selected the farm of Thomas 


Clare, at the junction of the Monongahela River 
and George's Creek. This was in Fayette County, 
Pennsylvania, about four miles north of the Vir- 
ginia line. Here he built a log hut, opened a 
country store, and remained till the close of the 
year. It was while thus engaged at George's 
Creek, in September of the year 1784, that Gal- 
latin first met General Washington, who was ex- 
amining the country, in which he had large landed 
interests, to select a route for a road across the 
Alleghanies. The story of the interview was first 
made public by Mr. John Russell Bartlett, who 
had it from the lips of Mr. Gallatin. The version 
of the late Hon. William Beach Lawrence, in a 
paper prepared for the New York Historical So- 
ciety, differs slightly in immaterial points. Mr. 
Lawrence says : — 

"Among the incidents connected with his (Mr. Gal- 
latin's) earliest explorations was an interview with Gen- 
eral Washington, which he repeatedly recounted to me. 
He had previously observed that of all the inaccessible 
men he had ever seen, General Washington was the 
most so. And this remark he made late in life, after 
having been conversant with most of the sovereigns of 
Europe and their prime ministers. He said, in connec- 
tion with his office, he had a cot-bed in the office of the 
surveyor of the district when Washington, who had lands 
in the neighborhood, and was desirous of effecting com- 
munication between the rivers, came there. Mr. Gal- 
latin's bed was given up to him, — Gallatin lying on 
the floor, immediately below the table at which Wash* 


ington was writing. Washington was endeavoring to 
reduce to paper the calculations of the day. Gallatin, 
hearing the statement, came at once to the conclusion, 
and, after waiting some time, he himself gave the an* 
swer, which drew from Washington such a look as he 
never experienced before or since. On arriving by a 
slow process at his conclusion, Washington turned to 
Gallatin and said, ' You are right, young man.' " 

The points of difference between the two ac- 
counts of this interview are of little importance. 
The look which Washington is said to have given 
Mr. Gallatin has its counterpart in that with 
which he is also said to have turned upon Gouvar- 
neur Morris, when accosted by him familiarly 
with a touch on the shoulder. Bartlett, in his 
recollection of the anecdote, adds that Washing- 
ton, about this period, inquired after the forward 
young man, and urged him to become his land 
agent, — an offer which Gallatin declined. 

The winter of 1784-85 was passed in Richmond, 
in the society of which town Mr. Gallatin began 
to find a relief and pleasure he had not yet expe- 
rienced in America. At this period the Virginia 
capital was the gayest city in the Union, and 
famous for its abundant hospitality, rather facile 
manners, and the liberal tendency of its religious 
thought. Gallatin brought no prudishness and no 
orthodoxy in his Genevese baggage. One of the 
last acts of his life was to recognize in graceful 
and touching words the kindness he then met 
with : — 


" I was received with that old proverbial Virginia hos- 
pitality to which I know no parallel anywhere within 
the circle of my travels. It was not hospitality only 
that was shown to me. I do not know how it came to 
pass, but every one with whom I became acquainted 
appeared to take an interest in the young stranger. I 
was only the interpreter of a gentleman, the agent of 
a foreign house, that had a large claim for advances to 
the State, and this made me known to all the officers of 
government, and some of the most prominent members 
of the Legislature. It gave me the first opportunity of 
showing some symptoms of talent, even as a speaker, 
of which I was not myself aware. Every one encour- 
aged me, and was disposed to promote my success in 
life. To name all those from whom I received offers of 
service would be to name all the most distinguished resi- 
dents at that time in Richmond." 

In the spring of 1785, fortified with a certificate 
from Governor Patrick Henry, commending him 
to the county surveyor, and intrusted by Henry 
with the duty of locating two thousand acres of 
lands in the western country for a third party, he 
set out from Richmond, on March 31, alone, on 
horseback. Following the course of the James 
River he crossed the Blue Ridge at the Peaks of 
Otter, and reached Greenbrier Court House on 
April 18. On the 29th he arrived at Clare's, on 
George's Creek, where he was joined by Savary. 
Their surveying operations were soon begun, each 
taking a separate course. An Indian rising broke 
up the operations of Savary, and both parties 


returned to Clare's. Gallatin appeared before the 
court of Monongalia County, at its October term, 
and took the u oath of allegiance and fidelity to 
the Commonwealth of Virginia." Clare's, his ac- 
tual residence, was north of the Virginia line, but 
his affections were with the old Dominion. In 
November the partners hired from Clare a house 
at George's Creek, in Springfield township, and 
established their residence, after which they re- 
turned to Richmond by way of Cumberland and 
the Potomac. In February, 1786, Gallatin made 
his permanent abode at his new home. 

Mention has been made of the intimacy of the 
young emigrants with Jean Badollet, a college 
companion. When they left Geneva he was en- 
gaged in the study of theology, and was now a 
teacher. He was included in the original plan of 
emigration, and the first letters of both Gallatin 
and Serre, who had for him an equal attachment, 
were to him, and year by year, through all the 
vicissitudes of their fortune, they kept him care- 
fully informed of their movements and projects. 
For two years after their departure no word was 
received from him. At last, spurred by the sharp 
reproaches of Serre, he broke silence. In a letter 
written in March, 1783, informing Gallatin of the 
troubles in Switzerland, he excused himself on the 
plea that their common friend, Dumont, retained 
him at Geneva. In answer, Gallatin opened his 
plans of western settlement, which included the 
employment of his fortune in the establishment 


of a number of families upon his lands. He sug- 
gested to Badollet to bring with him the little 
money he had, to which enough would be added 
to establish him independently. Dumont was in- 
vited to accompany him. But with a prudence 
which shows that his previous experience had not 
been thrown away upon him, Gallatin recommends 
his friend not to start at once, but to hold himself 
ready for the next, or, at the latest, the year suc- 
ceeding, at the same time suggesting the idea of 
a general emigration of such Swiss malcontents as 
were small capitalists and farmers ; that of manu- 
facturers and workmen he discouraged. It was 
not, however, until the spring of 1785, on the eve 
of leaving Richmond with some families which he 
had engaged to establish on his lands, that he felt 
justified in asking his old friend to cross the seas 
and share his lot. This invitation was accepted, 
and Badollet joined him at George's Creek. 

The settlement beginning to spread, Gallatin 
bought another farm higher up the river, to which 
he gave the name of Friendship Hill. Here he 
later made his home. 

The western part of Pennsylvania, embracing 
the area which stretches from the Alleghany Moun- 
tains to Lake Erie, is celebrated for the wild, 
picturesque beauty of its scenery. Among its 
wooded hills the head waters of the Ohio have 
their source. At Fort Duquesne, or Pittsburgh, 
where the river takes a sudden northerly bend 
before finally settling in swelling volume on its 


southwesterly course to the Mississippi, the Mo- 
nongahela adds its mountain current, which sepa- 
rates in its entire course from the Virginia line 
the two counties of Fayette and Washington. The 
Monongahela takes its rise in Monongalia County, 
Virginia, and flows to the northward. Friendship 
Hill is one of the bluffs on the right bank of the 
river, and faces the Laurel Ridge to the eastward. 
Braddock's Road, now the National Road, crosses 
the mountains, passing through Uniontown and 
Red Stone Old Fort (Brownsville), on its course 
to Pittsburgh. The county seat of Fayette is the 
borough of Union or Uniontown. Gallatin's log 
cabin, the beginning of New Geneva, was on the 
right bank of the Monongahela, about twelve miles 
to the westward of the county seat. Opposite, on 
the other side of the river, in Washington County, 
was Greensburg, where his friend Badollet was 
later established. 

Again for a long period Gallatin left his family 
without any word whatever. His most indulgent 
friend, Mademoiselle Pictet, could hardly excuse 
his silence, and did not hesitate to charge that it 
was due to misfortunes which his pride prompted 
him to conceal. In the early days of 1786 a ru- 
mor of his death reached Geneva, and greatly 
alarmed his family. Mr. Jefferson, then minister 
at Paris, wrote to Mr. Jay for information. This 
was Jefferson's first knowledge of the existence 
of the young man who was to become his politi- 
cal associate, his philosophic companion, and his 


truest friend. Meanwhile Gallatin had attained 
his twenty -fifth year and his majority. His family 
were no longer left in doubt as to his existence, 
and in response to his letters drafts were at once 
remitted to him for the sum of five thousand dol- 
lars, through the banking-house of Robert Morris. 
This was, of course, immediately applied to his 
western experiment. The business of the partner- 
ship now called for his constant attention. It 
required the exercise of a great variety of mental 
powers, a cool and discriminating judgment, com- 
bined with an incessant attention to details. Na- 
ture, under such circumstances, is not so attractive 
as she appears in youthful dreams; admirable in 
her original garb, she is annoying and obstinate 
when disturbed. The view of country which Friend- 
ship Hill commands is said to rival Switzerland in 
its picturesque beauty, but years later, when the 
romance of the Monongahela hills had faded in 
the actualities of life, Gallatin wrote of it that 
"he did not know in the United States any spot 
which afforded less means to earn a bare subsist- 
ence for those who could not live by manual labor." 
Gallatin has been blamed for "taking life awry 
and throwing away the advantages of education, 
social position, and natural intelligence," by his 
removal to the frontier, and his career compared 
with that of Hamilton and Dallas, who, like him, 
foreign born, rose to eminence in politics, and 
became secretaries of the treasury of the United 
States. But both of these were of English-speak- 


ing races. No foreigner of any other race ever 
obtained such distinction in American politics as 
Mr. Gallatin, and he only because he was the 
choice of a constituency, to every member of which 
he was personally known. It is questionable 
whether in any other condition of society he could 
have secured advancement by election — the true 
source of political power in all democracies. John 
Marshall, afterwards Chief Justice, recognized 
Gallatin's talent soon after his arrival in Rich- 
mond, offered him a place in his office without a 
fee, and assured him of future distinction in the 
profession of the law; but Patrick Henry was the 
more sagacious counselor; he advised Gallatin to 
go to the West, and predicted his success as a 
statesman. Modest as the beginning seemed in 
the country he had chosen, it was nevertheless a 
start in the right direction, as the future showed. 
It was in no sense a mistake. 

Neither did the affairs of the wilderness wholly 
debar intercourse with the civilized world. Visit- 
ing Richmond every winter, he gradually extended 
the circle of his acquaintance, and increased his 
personal influence; he also occasionally passed a 
few weeks at Philadelphia. Two visits to Maine 
are recorded in his diary, but whether they were 
of pleasure merely does not appear. One was in 
1788, in midwinter, by stage and sleigh. On this 
excursion he descended the Androscoggin and 
crossed Merrymeeting Bay on the ice, returning 
by the same route in a snowstorm, which concealed 


the banks on either side of the river, so that he 
governed his course by the direction of the wind. 
With the intellect of a prime minister he had the 
constitution of a pioneer. On one of these occa- 
sions he intended to visit his old friends and hosts, 
the Lesderniers, but the difficulty of finding a 
conveyance, and the rumor that the old gentleman 
was away from home, interfered with his purpose. 
He remembered their kindness, and later attempted 
to obtain pensions for them from the United States 

But the time now arrived when the current of 
his domestic life was permanently diverted, and 
set in other channels. In May, 1789, he married 
Sophie Allegre, the daughter of William Allegre 
of a French Protestant family living at Richmond. 
The father was dead, and the mother took lodgers, 
of whom Gallatin was one. For more than a year 
he had addressed her and secured her affections. 
Her mother now refused her consent, and no choice 
was left to the young lovers but to marry without 
it. Little is known of this short but touching 
episode in Mr. Gallatin's life. The young lady 
was warmly attached to him, and the letter written 
to her mother asking forgiveness for her marriage 
is charmingly expressed and full of feeling. They 
passed a few happy months at Friendship Hill, 
when suddenly she died. From this time Mr. 
Gallatin lost all heart in the western venture, and 
his most earnest wish was to turn his back forever 
upon Fayette County. In his suffering he would 


have returned to Geneva to Mademoiselle Pictet, 
could he have sold his Virginia lands. But this 
had become impossible at any price, and he had 
no other pecuniary resource but the generosity of 
his family. 

Meanwhile the revolution had broken out in 
France. The rights of man had been proclaimed 
on the Champ de Mars. All Europe was uneasy 
and alarmed, and nowhere offered a propitious 
field for peaceful labor. But Gallatin did not 
long need other distraction than he was to find at 



Political revolutions are the opportunity of 
youth. In England, Pitt and Fox; in America, 
Hamilton and Gouverneur Morris; in Europe, 
Napoleon and Pozzo di Borgo, before they reached 
their thirtieth year, helped to shape the political 
destiny of nations. The early maturity of Galla- 
tin was no less remarkable. In his voluminous 
correspondence there is no trace of youth. At 
nineteen his habits of thought were already formed, 
and his moral and intellectual tendencies were 
clearly marked in his character, and understood 
by himself. His tastes also were already devel- 
oped. His life, thereafter, was in every sense a 
growth. The germs of every excellence, which 
came to full fruition in his subsequent career, may 
be traced in the preferences of his academic days. 
From youth to age he was consistent with himself. 
His mind was of that rare and original order 
which, reasoning out its own conclusions, seldom 
has cause to change. 

His political opinions were early formed. A 
letter written by him in October, 1783, before he 
had completed his twenty-third year, shows the 


maturity of his intellect, and his analytic habit 
of thought. An extract gives the nature of the 
reasons which finally determined him to make his 
home in America : — 

" This is what by degrees greatly influenced my judg- 
ment. After my arrival in this country I was early 
convinced, upon a comparison of American governments 
with that of Geneva, that the latter is founded on false 
principles ; that the judicial power, in civil as well as 
criminal cases, the executive power wholly, and two 
thirds of the legislative power being lodged in two bodies 
which are almost self-made, and the members of which 
are chosen for life, — it is hardly possible but that this 
formidable aristocracy should, sooner or later, destroy 
the equilibrium which it was supposed could be main- 
tained at Geneva." 

The period from the peace of 1783 to the adop- 
tion of the federal Constitution in 1787 was one 
of political excitement. The utter failure of the 
old Confederation to serve the purposes of national 
defense and safety for which it was framed had 
been painfully felt during the war. Independence 
had been achieved under it rather than by it, the 
patriotic action of some of the States supplying 
the deficiencies of others less able or less willing. 
By the radical inefficiency of the Confederation 
the war had been protracted, its success repeatedly 
imperiled, and, at its close, the results gained by 
it were constantly menaced. The more perfect 
union which was the outcome of the deliberations 
of the federal convention was therefore joyfully 


accepted by the people at large. Indeed, it was 
popular pressure, and not the arguments of its 
advocates, that finally overcame the formidable 
opposition in and out of the convention to the 
Constitution. No written record remains of Mr. 
Gallatin's course during the sessions of the fed- 
eral convention. He was not a member of the 
body, nor is his name connected with any public 
act having any bearing upon its deliberations. 
Of the direction of his influence, however, there 
can be no doubt. He had an abiding distrust of 
strong government, — a dread of the ambitions 
of men. Precisely what form he would have sub- 
stituted for the legislative and executive system 
adopted nowhere appears in his writings, but cer- 
tainly neither president nor senate would have 
been included. They bore too close a resemblance 
to king and lords to win his approval, no matter 
how restricted their powers. He would evidently 
have leaned to a single house, with a temporary 
executive directly appointed by itself; or, if elected 
by the people, then for a short term of office, with- 
out renewal ; and he would have reduced its legis- 
lative powers to the narrowest possible limit. The 
best government he held to be that which governs 
least ; and many of the ablest of that incomparable 
body of men who welded this Union held these 
views. But the yearning of the people was in the 
other direction. They felt the need of govern- 
ment. They wanted the protection of a strong 
arm. It must not be forgotten that the thirteen 


colonies which declared their independence in 
1776 were all seaboard communities, each with 
its port. They were all trading communities. 
The East, with its fisheries and timber; the Mid- 
dle States, with their agricultural products and 
peltries; the South, with its tobacco; each saw, 
in that freedom from the restrictions of the Eng- 
lish navigation laws which the treaty of peace 
secured, the promise of a boundless commerce. 
To protect commerce there must be a national 
\ power somewhere. Since the peace the govern- 
>9 ment had gained neither the affection of its own 
^ citizens nor the respect of foreign powers. 

The federal Constitution was adopted Septem- 
ber 17, 1787. The first State to summon a con- 
vention of ratification was Pennsylvania. No one 
of the thirteen original States was more directly 
interested than herself. The centre of population 
lay somewhere in her limits, and there was rea- 
sonable ground for hope that Philadelphia would 
become once more the seat of government. The 
delegates met at Philadelphia on November 2. 
An opposition declared itself at the beginning of 
the proceedings. Regardless of the popular impa- 
tience, the majority allowed full scope to adverse 
argument, and it was not until December 12 that 
the final vote was taken and the Constitution rati- 
fied, without recommendations, by a majority of 
two to one. In this body Fayette County was 
represented by Nicholas Breading and John Smilie. 
The latter gentleman, of Scotch-Irish birth, an 

'DAHU FALLS hiori bC hUUL 


adroit debater, led the opposition. In the course 
of his criticisms he enunciated the doctrines which 
were soon to become a party cry; the danger of 
the Constitution "in inviting rather than guarding 
against the approaches of tyranny; " "its tendency 
to a consolidation, not a confederation, of the 
States." Mr. Gallatin does not appear to have 
sought to be a delegate to this body, but his hand 
may be traced through the speeches of Smilie in 
the precision with which the principles of the op- 
position were formulated and declared; and his 
subsequent course plainly indicates that his influ- 
ence was exerted in the interest of the dissatisfied 
minority. The ratification was received by the 
people with intense satisfaction, but the delay in 
debate lost the State the honor of precedence in 
the honorable vote of acquiescence, — the Dela- 
ware convention having taken the lead by a unani- 
mous vote. For the moment the Pennsylvania 
Anti-Federalists clung to the hope that the Con- 
stitution might yet fail to receive the assent of 
the required number of States, but as one after 
another fell into line, this hope vanished. 

One bold expedient remained. The ratification 
of some of the States was coupled with the re- 
commendation of certain amendments. Massachu- 
setts led the way in this, Virginia followed, and 
New York, which, in the language of the day, 
became the eleventh pillar of the federal edifice, 
on July 26, 1788, accompanied her ratification 
with a circular letter to the governors of all the 


States, recommending that a general convention 
be called. 1 

The argument taken in this letter was the only 
one which had any chance of commending itself to 
popular favor. It was in these words: "that the 
apprehension and discontents which the articles 
occasion cannot be removed or allayed unless an 
act to provide for the calling of a new convention 
be among the first that shall be passed by the next 
Congress." This document, made public at once, 
encouraged the Pennsylvania Anti-Federalists to 
a last effort to bring about a new convention, to 
undo or radically alter the work of the old. A 
conference held at Harrisburg, on September 3, 
1788, was participated in by thirty-three gentle- 
men, from various sections of the State, who as- 
sembled in response to the call of a circular letter 
which originated in the county of Cumberland in 
the month of August. The city of Philadelphia 
and thirteen counties were represented; six of the 
dissenting members of the late convention were 
present, among whom was Smilie. He and Gal- 
latin represented the county of Fayette. 

Smilie, Gallatin's earliest political friend, was 
born in 1742, and was therefore about twenty 
years his senior. He came to the United States 
in youth, and had grown up in the section he now 
represented. His popularity is shown by his ser- 

1 The drafting 1 of this letter was, notwithstanding- his protest, 
intrusted to John Jay, one of the strongest of the Federal leaders, 
and a warm supporter of the Constitution as it stood. 


vice in the state legislature, and during twelve 
years in Congress as representative or as senator. 
In any estimate of Mr. Gallatin, this early influ- 
ence must be taken into account. The friendship 
thus formed continued until Smilie's death in 
1816. From the adviser he became the ardent 
supporter of Mr. Gallatin. 

Blair McClanachan, of Philadelphia County, 
was elected chairman of the conference. The re- 
sult of this deliberation was a report in the form 
of a series of resolutions, of which two drafts, 
both in Mr. Gallatin's handwriting, are among 
his papers now in the keeping of the New York 
Historical Society. The original resolutions were 
broad in scope, and suggested a plan of action of 
a dual nature; the one of which failing, resort 
could be had to the other without compromising 
the movement by delay. In a word, it proposed 
an opposition by a party organization. The first 
resolution was adroitly framed to avoid the censure 
with which the people at large, whose satisfaction 
with the new Constitution had grown with the 
fresh adhesions of State after State to positive 
enthusiasm, would surely condemn any attempt to 
dissolve the Union formed under its provisions. 
This resolution declared that it was in order to 
prevent a dissolution of the Union and to secure 
liberty, that a revision was necessary. The second 
expressed the opinion of the conference to be, that 
the safest manner to obtain such revision was to 
conform to the request of the State of New York, 


and to urge the calling of a new convention, and 
recommended that the Pennsylvania legislature 
be petitioned to apply for that purpose to the new 
Congress. These were declaratory. The third 
and fourth provided, first, for an organization of 
committees in the several counties to correspond 
with eacn other and with similar committees in 
other States; secondlv, invited the friends to 
amendments in the several States to meet in con- 
ference at a fixed time and place. This plan of 
committees of correspondence and of a meeting of 
delegates was simply a revival of the methods 
of the Sons of Liberty, from whose action sprung 
the first Continental Congress of 1774. 

The formation of such an organization would 
surely have led to disturbance, perhaps to civil 
war. During the progress of the New York con- 
vention swords and bayonets had been drawn, and 
blood had been shed in the streets of Albany, 
where the Anti -Federalists excited popular rage 
by burning the new Constitution. But the thirty- 
three gentlemen who met at Harrisburg wisely 
tempered these resolutions to a moderate tone. 
Thus modified, they recommended, first, that the 
people of the State should acquiesce in the organi- 
zation of the government, while holding in view 
the necessity of very considerable amendments and 
alterations essential to preserve the peace and har- 
mony of the Union. Secondly, that a revision by 
general convention was necessary. Thirdly, that 
the legislature should be requested to apply to 


Congress for that purpose. The petition recom- 
mended twelve amendments, selected from those 
already proposed by other States. These were of 
course restrictive. The report was made public 
in the "Pennsylvania Packet' of September 15. 
With this the agitation appears to have ceased. 
On September 13 Congress notified the States by 
resolution to appoint electors under the provisions 
of the Constitution. The unanimous choice of 
Washington as president hushed all opposition, 
and for a time the Anti -Federalists sunk into in- 

The persistent labors of the friends of revision 
were not without result. The amendments pro- 
posed by Virginia and New York were laid before 
the House of Representatives. Seventeen received 
the two thirds vote of the House. After confer- 
ence with the Senate, in which Mr. Madison ap- 
peared as manager for the House, these, reduced 
in number to twelve by elimination and compres- 
sion, were adopted by the requisite two thirds 
vote, and transmitted to the legislatures of the 
States for approval. Ratified by a sufficient num- 
ber of States, they became a part of the Consti- 
tution. They were general, and declaratory of 
personal rights, and in no instance restrictive of 
the power of the general government. 

In 1789, the Assembly of Pennsylvania calling 
a convention to revise the Constitution of the 
State, Mr. Gallatin was sent as a delegate from 
Fayette County. To the purposes of this conven- 


tion he was opposed, as a dangerous precedent. 
He had endeavored to organize an opposition to 
it in the western counties, by correspondence with 
his political friends. His objections were the 
dangers of alterations in government, and the ab- 
surdity of the idea that the Constitution ever con- 
templated a change by the will of a mere majority. 
Such a doctrine, once admitted, would enable not 
only the legislature, but a majority of the more 
popular house, were two established, to make an- 
other appeal to the people on the first occasion, 
and, instead of establishing on solid foundations 
a new government, would open the door to per- 
petual change, and destroy that stability which is 
essential to the welfare of a nation ; since no con- 
stitution acquires the permanent affection of the 
people, save in proportion to its duration and age. 
Finally, such changes would sooner or later con- 
clude in an appeal to arms, — the true meaning 
of the popular and dangerous words, "an appeal 
to the people." The opposition was begun too 
late, however, to admit of combined effort, and 
was not persisted in; and Mr. Gallatin himself, 
with practical good sense, consented to serve as 
a delegate. Throughout his political course the 
pride of mastery never controlled his actions. 
When debarred from leadership he did not sulk 
in his tent, but threw his weight in the direction 
of his principles. The convention met at Phila- 
delphia on November 24, 1789, and closed its 
labors on September 2, 1790. This was Galla- 


tin's apprenticeship in the public service. Among 
his papers are a number of memoranda, some of 
them indicating much elaboration of speeches made, 
or intended to be made, in this body. One is an 
argument in favor of enlarging the representation 
in the House; another is against a plan of choos- 
ing senators by electors; another concerns the 
liberty of the press. There is, further, a memo- 
randum of his motion in regard to the right of 
suffrage, by virtue of which "every freeman who 
has attained the age of twenty-one years, and been 
a resident and inhabitant during one year next 
before the day of election, every naturalized free- 
holder, every naturalized citizen who had been 
assessed for state or county taxes for two years 
before election day, or who had resided ten years 
successively in the State, should be entitled to the 
suffrage, paupers and vagabonds only being ex- 
cluded." Certainly, in his conservative limitations 
upon suffrage, he did not consult his own interest 
as a large landholder inviting settlement, nor 
pander to the natural desires of his constituency. 

In an account of this convention, written at a 
later period, Mr. Gallatin said that it was the 
first public body to which he was elected, and that 
he took but a subordinate share in the debates; 
that it was one of the ablest bodies of which he 
was ever a member, and with which he was ac- 
quainted, and, excepting Madison and Marshall, 
that it embraced as much talent and knowledge as 
any Congress from 1795 to 1812, beyond which 


his personal knowledge did not extend. Among 
its members were Thomas McKean, signer of the 
Declaration of Independence and president of the 
Continental Congress, Thomas Mifflin and Timo- 
thy Pickering, of the Revolutionary army, and 
Smilie and Findley, Gallatin's political friends. 
General Mifflin was its president. 

But mental distraction brought Mr. Gallatin 
no peace of heart at this period, and when the 
excitement of the winter was over he fell into a 
state of almost morbid melancholy. To his friend 
Badollet he wrote from Philadelphia, early in 
March, that life in Fayette County had no more 
charms for him, and that he would gladly leave 
America. But his lands were unsalable at any 
price, and he saw no means of support at Geneva. 
Some one has said, with a profound knowledge of 
human nature, that no man is sure of happiness 
who has not the capacity for continuous labor of 
a disagreeable kind. The occasional glimpses into 
Mr. Gallatin's inner nature, which his correspond- 
ence affords, show that up to this period he was 
not supposed by his friends or by himself to have 
this capacity. In the letter which his guardian 
wrote to him after his flight from home, he was 
reproached with his "natural indolence." His 
good friend, Mademoiselle Pictet, accused him of 
being hard to please, and disposed to ennui ; and 
again, as late as 1787, repeats to him, in a tone 
of sorrow, the reports brought to her of his "con- 
tinuance in his old habit of indolence," his indif- 


ference to society, his neglect of his dress, and 
general indifference to everything but study and 
reading, tastes which, she added, he might as well 
have cultivated at Geneva as in the new world; 
and he himself, in the letter to Badollet just men- 
tioned, considers that his habits and his laziness 
would prove insuperable bars to his success in any 
profession in Europe. In estimation of this self- 
condemnation, it must be borne in mind that the 
Genevans were intellectual Spartans. Gallatin 
must be measured by that high standard. But if 
the charge of indolence could have ever justly lain 
against Gallatin, — a charge which his intellectual 
vigor at twenty-seven seems to challenge, — it cer- 
tainly could never have been sustained after he 
fairly entered on his political and public career. 
In October, 1790, he was elected by a two thirds 
majority to represent Fayette County in the legis- 
lature of the State of Pennsylvania; James Find- 
ley was his colleague, John Smilie being advanced 
to the state Senate. Mr. Gallatin was reelected to 
the Assembly in 1791 and 1792, without opposition. 
Among his papers there is a memorandum of 
his legislative service during these three years, 
and a manuscript volume of extracts from the 
Journals of the House, from January 14, 1791, to 
December 17, 1794. They form part of the ex- 
tensive mass of documents and letters which were 
collected and partially arranged by himself, with 
a view to posthumous publication. Here is an 
extract from the memorandum : — 


" I acquired an extraordinary influence in that body 
[the Pennsylvania House of Representatives] ; the more 
remarkable as I was always in a party minority. I was 
indebted for it to my great industry and to the facility 
with which I could understand and carry on the current 
business. The laboring oar was left almost exclusively 
to me. In the session of 1791-1792, I was put on 
thirty-five committees, prepared all their reports, and 
drew all their bills. Absorbed by those details, my at- 
tention was turned exclusively to administrative laws, 
and not to legislation properly so called. ... I failed, 
though the bill I had introduced passed the House, in 
my efforts to lay the foundation for a better system of 
education. Primary education was almost universal in 
Pennsylvania, but very bad, and the bulk of school- 
masters incompetent, miserably paid, and held in no 
consideration. It appeared to me that in order to cre- 
ate a sufficient number of competent teachers, and to 
raise the standard of general education, intermediate 
academical education was an indispensable preliminary 
step, and the object of the bill was to establish in each 
county an academy, allowing to each out of the treasury 
a sum equal to that raised by taxation in the county for 
its support. But there was at that time in Pennsylva- 
nia a Quaker and a German opposition to every plan of 
general education. 

" The spirit of internal improvements had not yet 
been awakened. Still, the first turnpike-road in the 
United States was that from Philadelphia to Lancaster, 
which met with considerable opposition. This, as well 
as every temporary improvement in our communications 
(roads and rivers) and preliminary surveys, met, of 
course, with my warm support. But it was in the fiscal 


department that I was particularly employed, and the 
circumstances of the times favored the restoration of the 
finances of the State. 

" The report of the Committee of Ways and Means 
of the session 1790-91 was entirely prepared by me, 
known to be so, and laid the foundation of my repu- 
tation. I was quite astonished at the general encomi- 
ums bestowed upon it, and was not at all aware that I 
had done so well. It was perspicuous and comprehen- 
sive ; but I am confident that its true merit, and that 
which gained me the general confidence, was its being 
founded in strict justice, without the slightest regard to 
party feelings or popular prejudices. The principles 
assumed, and which were carried into effect, were the 
immediate reimbursement and extinction of the state 
paper-money, the immediate payment in specie of all 
the current expenses, or warrants on the treasury (the 
postponement and uncertainty of which had given rise 
to shameful and corrupt speculations), and provision for 
discharging without defalcation every debt and engage- 
ment previously recognized by the State. In conform- 
ity with this, the State paid to its creditors the difference 
between the nominal amount of the state debt assumed 
by the United States and the rate at which it was funded 
by the act of Congress. 

" The proceeds of the public lands, together with the 
arrears, were the fund which not only discharged all the 
public debts, but left a large surplus. The apprehen- 
sion that this would be squandered by the legislature 
was the principal inducement for chartering the Bank of 
Pennsylvania, with a capital of two millions of dollars, 
of which the State subscribed one half. This, and sim- 
ilar subsequent investments, enabled Pennsylvania to 


defray, out of the dividends, all the expenses of govern- 
ment without any direct tax during the forty ensuing 
years, and till the adoption of the system of internal 
improvement, which required new resources. 

" It was my constant assiduity to business, and the 
assistance derived from it by many members, which en- 
abled the Republican party in the legislature, then a 
minority on a joint ballot, to elect me, and no other but 
me of that party, senator of the United States." 

Among the reports enumerated by Mr. Gallatin, 
as those of which he was the author, is one made by 
a committee on March 22, 1793, that they . . . 
are of opinion slavery is inconsistent with every 
principle of humanity, justice, and right, and re- 
pugnant to the spirit and express letter of the 
Constitution of the Commonwealth. Added to 
this was a resolution for its abolition in the Com- 

The seat of government was changed from New 
York to Philadelphia in 1790, and the first Con- 
gress assembled there in the early days of Decem- 
ber for its final session. Philadelphia was in glee 
over the transfer of the departments. The con- 
vention which framed the new state Constitution 
met here in the fall, and the legislature was also 
holding its sessions. The atmosphere was politi- 
cal. The national and local representatives met 
each other at all times and in all places, and the 
public affairs were the chief topic in and out of 
doors. In this busy whirl Gallatin made many 
friends, but Philadelphia was no more to his taste 


as a residence than Boston. He was disgusted 
with the ostentatious display of wealth, the result 
not of industry but of speculation, and not in the 
hands of the most deserving members of the com- 
munity. Later he became more reconciled to the 
tone of Pennsylvania society, comparing it with 
that of New York; he was especially pleased with 
its democratic spirit, and the absence of family 
influence. u In Pennsylvania," he says, "not only 
we have neither Livingstons, nor Rensselaer s, but 
from the suburbs of Philadelphia to the banks of 
the Ohio I do not know a single family that has 
any extensive influence. An equal distribution of 
property has rendered every individual independ- 
ent, and there is amongst us true and real equal- 
ity. In a word, as I am lazy, I like a country 
where living is cheap; and as I am poor, I like a 
country where no person is very rich." 

Hamilton's excise bill was a bone of contention 
in the national and state legislatures throughout 
the winter. Direct taxation upon anything was 
unpopular, that on distilled spirits the most dis- 
tasteful to Pennsylvania, where whiskey stills were 
numerous in the Alleghanies. To the bill intro- 
duced into Congress a reply was immediately made 
January 14, 1791, by the Pennsylvania Assembly 
in a series of resolutions which are supposed to 
have been drafted by Mr. Gallatin, and to have 
been the first legislative paper from his pen. 
They distinctly charged that the obnoxious bill 
was "subversive of the peace, liberty, and rights 
of the citizen." 


Tax by excise has always been offensive to the 
American people, as it was to their ancestors across 
the sea. It was characterized by the first Conti- 
nental Congress of 1774 as "the horror of all free 
States." Notwithstanding their warmth, these 
resolutions passed the Assembly by a vote of 40 
to 16. The course of this excitement must be 
followed; as it swept Mr. Gallatin in its mad 
current, and but for his self-control, courage, and 
adroitness would have wrecked him on the break- 
ers at the outset of his political voyage. The ex- 
cise law passed Congress on March 3, 1791. On 
June 22 the state legislature, by a vote of 36 to 
11, requested their senators and representatives in 
Congress to oppose every part of the bill which 
"shall militate against the rights and liberties of 
the people." 

The western counties of Pennsylvania — West- 
moreland, Fayette, Washington, and Allegheny 
— lie around the head-waters of the Ohio in a 
radius of more than a hundred miles. At this 
time they contained a population of about seventy 
thousand souls. Pittsburgh, the seat of justice, 
had about twelve hundred inhabitants. The Alle- 
ghany Mountains separate this wild region from 
the eastern section of the State. There were few 
roads of any kind, and these lay through woods. 
The mountain passes could be traveled only on 
foot or horseback. The only trade with the East 
was by pack-horses, while communication with the 
South was cut off by hostile Indian tribes who 


held the banks of the Ohio. This isolation from 
the older, denser, and more civilized settlements 
bred in the people a spirit of self-reliance and in- 
dependence. They were in great part Scotch-Irish 
Presbyterians, a religious and warlike race to 
whom the hatred of an exciseman was a tradition 
of their forefathers. Having no market for their 
grain, they were compelled to preserve it by con- 
verting it into whiskey. The still was the neces- 
sary appendage of every farm. The tax was light, 
but payable in money, of which there was little 
or none. Its imposition, therefore, coupled with 
the declaration of its oppressive nature by the 
Pennsylvania legislature, excited a spirit of deter- 
mined opposition near akin to revolution. 

Unpopular in all the western part of the State, 
Hamilton's bill was especially odious to the people 
of Washington County. The first meeting in op- 
position to it was held at Red Stone Old Fort or 
Brownsville, the site of one of those ancient re- 
mains of the mound-builders which abound in the 
western valleys. It was easily reached by Brad- 
dock's Road, the chief highway of the country. 
Here gathered on July 27, 1791, a number of 
persons opposed to the law, when it was agreed 
that county committees should be convened in the 
four counties at the respective seats of justice. 
Brackenridge, in his "Incidents of the Western 
Insurrection," sa} r s that Albert Gallatin was clerk 
of the meeting. One of these committees met in 
the town of Washington on August 23, when vio- 


lent resolutions were adopted. Gallatin, engaged 
at Philadelphia, was not present at this assem- 
blage, three of whose members were deputed to 
meet delegates from the counties of Westmore- 
land, Fayette, and Allegheny, at Pittsburgh, on 
the first Tuesday in September following, to agree 
upon an address to the legislature on the subject 
of excise and other grievances. At the Pittsburgh 
meeting eleven delegates appeared for the four 
counties. The resolutions adopted by them, gen- 
eral in character, read more like a declaration of 
grievances as a basis for revolution than a petition 
for special redress. No wonder that the secretary 
of the treasury stigmatized them as " intemperate." 
They charge that in the laws of the late Congress 
hasty strides had been made to all that was unjust 
and oppressive. They complain of the increase 
in the salaries of officials, of the unreasonable in- 
terest of the national debt, of the non-discrimina- 
tion between original holders and transferees of 
the public securities, of the National Bank as a 
base offspring of the funding system; finally, in 
detail, of the excise law of March 3, 1791. At 
this meeting James Marshall and David Bradford 
represented Washington County. 

In August government offices of inspection were 
opened. The spirit of resistance was now fully 
aroused, and in the early days of September the 
collectors for Washington, Westmoreland, and 
Fayette were treated with violence. Unwilling 
to proceed to excessive measures, and no doubt 


swayed by the attitude of the Pennsylvania legis- 
lature, Congress in October referred the law back 
to Hamilton for revision. He reported an amended 
act on March 6, 1792, which was immediately 
passed, and became a law March 8. It was to 
take effect on the last day of June succeeding. 
By it the rate of duty was reduced, a privilege of 
time as to the running of licenses of stills granted, 
and the tax ordered only for such time as they were 
actually used. 

But these modifications did not satisfy the mal- 
contents of the four western counties, and they 
met again on August 21, 1792, at Pittsburgh. Of 
this second Pittsburgh meeting Albert Gallatin 
was chosen secretary. Badollet went up with Gal- 
latin. John Smilie, James Marshall, and James 
Bradford of Washington County were present. 
Bradford, Marshall, Gallatin, and others were 
appointed to draw up a remonstrance to Congress. 
In order to carry out with regularity and concert 
the measures agreed upon, a committee of corre- 
spondence was appointed, and the meeting closed 
with the adoption of the violent resolutions passed 
at the Washington meeting of 1791 : — 

" Whereas, some men may be found among us so far 
lost to every sense of virtue and feeling for the distresses 
of this country as to accept offices for the collection of 
the duty. 

" Resolved, therefore, that in future we will consider 
such persons as unworthy of our friendship ; have no 
intercourse or dealings with them ; withdraw from them 


every assistance, and withhold all the comforts of life 
which depend upon those duties that as men and fellow 
citizens we owe to each other ; and upon all occasions 
treat them with that contempt they deserve ; and that 
it be, and it is hereby, most earnestly recommended to 
the people at large, to follow the same line of conduct 
towards them." 

If such an excommunication were to be meted 
out to an offending neighbor, what measure would 
the excise man receive if he came from abroad on 
his unwelcome errand? 

These resolutions were signed by Mr. Gallatin 
as clerk, and made public through the press. 
Resolutions of this character, if not criminal, reach 
the utmost limit of indiscretion, and political in- 
discretion is quite as dangerous as crime. The 
petition to Congress, subscribed by the inhabitants 
of western Pennsylvania, was drawn by Gallatin; 
while explicit in terms, it was moderate in tone. 
It represented the unequal operation of the act. 
"A duty laid on the common drink of a nation, 
instead of taxing the citizens in proportion to 
their property, falls as heavy on the poorest class 
as on the rich;" and it ingeniously pointed out 
that the distance of the inhabitants of the western 
counties from market prevented their bringing 
the produce of their lands to sale, either in grain 
or meal. " We are therefore distillers through 
necessity, not choice; that we may comprehend the 
greatest value in the smallest size and weight." 

Hamilton, indignant, reported the proceedings 


to the President on September 9, 1792, and de- 
manded instant punishment. Washington, who 
was at Mount Vernon, was unwilling to go to 
extremes, but consented to issue a proclamation, 
which, drafted by Hamilton, and countersigned 
by Jefferson, was published September 15, 1792. 
It earnestly admonished all persons to desist from 
unlawful combinations to obstruct the operations 
of the laws, and charged all courts, magistrates, 
and officers with their enforcement. There was 
no mistaking Hamilton's intention to enforce the 
law. Prosecutions in the Circuit Court, held at 
Yorktown in October, were ordered against the 
Pittsburgh offenders, but no proof could be had 
to sustain an indictment. 

The President's proclamation startled the west- 
ern people, and some uneasiness was felt as to 
how such of their representatives as had taken 
part in the Pittsburgh meeting would be received 
when they should go up to the legislature in the 
winter. Bradford and Smilie accompanied Gal- 
latin; Smilie to take his seat in the state Senate, 
and Bradford to represent Washington County in 
the House, where he "cut a poor figure." Gal- 
latin despised him, and characterized him as a 
"tenth-rate lawyer and an empty drum." Gal- 
latin found, however, that although the Pittsburgh 
meeting had hurt the general interest of his party 
throughout the State, and "rather defeated' the 
repeal of the excise law, his eastern friends did 
not turn the cold shoulder to him. He said to 


every one whom he knew that the resolutions were 
perhaps too violent and undoubtedly highly impol- 
itic, but, in his opinion, contained nothing illegal. 
Meanwhile federal officers proceeded to enforce 
the law in Washington County. A riot ensued, 
and the office was forcibly closed. Bills were 
found against two of the offenders in the federal 
court, and warrants to arrest and bring them to 
Philadelphia for trial were issued. Gallatin be- 
lieved the men innocent, and did not hesitate to 
advise Badollet to keep them out of the way when 
the marshal should go to serve the writs, but de- 
precated any insult to the officer. He thought 
"the precedent a very dangerous one to drag peo- 
ple such a distance in order to be tried on govern- 
mental prosecutions." Here the matter rested for 
a season. 

At this session of the legislature Gallatin intro- 
duced a new system of county taxation, proposed 
a clause providing for "trustees yearly elected, 
one to each township, without whose consent no 
tax is to be raised, nor any above one per cent, on 
the value of lands," which he hoped would "tend 
to crush the aristocracy of every town in the 
State." Also he proposed a plan to establish a 
school and library in each county, with a sufficient 
immediate sum in money, and a yearly allowance 
for a teacher in the English language. 



The death of the grandfather of Mr. Gallatin, 
and soon after of his aunt, strongly tempted him 
to make a journey to Geneva in the summer of 
1793. The political condition of Europe at that 
time was of thrilling interest. On January 21 
the head of Louis XVI. fell under the guillotine, 
to which Marie Antoinette soon followed him. 
The armies of the coalition were closing in upon 
France. Of the political necessity for these state 
executions there has always been and will always 
be different judgments. That of Mr. Gallatin is 
of peculiar value. It is found expressed in inti- 
mate frankness in a letter to his friend Badollet, 
written at Philadelphia, February 1, 1794. 

" France at present offers a spectacle unheard of at 
any other period. Enthusiasm there produces an en- 
ergy equally terrible and sublime. All those virtues 
which depend upon social or family affections, all those 
amiable weaknesses, which our natural feelings teach us 
to love or respect, have disappeared before the stronger, 
the only, at present, powerful passion, the Amor Patrice. 
I must confess my soul is not enough steeled, not some- 
times to shrink at the dreadful executions which have 


restored at least apparent internal tranquillity to that 
republic. Yet upon the whole, as long as the combined 
despots press upon every frontier, and employ every en- 
gine to destroy and distress the interior parts, I think 
they, and they alone, are answerable for every act of 
severity or injustice, for every excess, nay for every 
crime, which either of the contending parties in France 
may have committed." 

Within a few years the publication of the corre- 
spondence of De Fersen, the agent of the king 
and queen, has supplied the proof of the charge 
that they were in secret correspondence with the 
allied sovereigns to introduce foreign troops upon 
the soil of France, — a crime which no people has 
ever condoned. 

The French Revolution, which from its begin- 
ning in 1789 reacted upon the United States with 
fully the force that the American Revolution ex- 
erted upon France, had become an important fac- 
tor in American politics. The intemperance of 
Genet, the minister of the French Convention to 
the United States on the one hand, and the breaches 
of neutrality by England on the other, were divid- 
ing the American people into English and French 
parties. The Federalists sympathized with the 
English, the late enemies, and the Republicans 
with the French, the late allies, of the United 

Mr. Gallatin had about made up his mind to 
visit Europe, when an unexpected political honor 
changed his plans. The Pennsylvania legislature 


elected him a senator of the United States on joint 
ballot, a distinction the more singular in that the 
legislature was Federalist and Mr. Gallatin was 
a representative of a Republican district, and 
strong in that faith. Moreover, he was not a 
candidate either of his own motion or by that of 
his friends, but, on the contrary, had doubts as 
to his eligibility because of insufficient residence. 
This objection, which he himself stated in caucus, 
was disregarded, and on February 28, 1793, by 
a vote of 45 to 37, he was chosen senator. Mr. 
Gallatin had just completed his thirty-second year, 
and now a happy marriage came opportunely to 
stimulate his ambition and smooth his path to 
other honors. 

Among the friends made at Philadelphia was 
Alexander J. Dallas, a gentleman two years Gal- 
latin's senior, whose career, in some respects, 
resembled his own. He was born in Jamaica, of 
Scotch parents; had been thoroughly educated at 
Edinburgh and Westminster, and, coming to the 
United States in 1783, had settled in Philadel- 
phia. He now held the post of secretary of state 
for Pennsylvania. Mr. Gallatin's constant com- 
mittee service brought him into close relations 
with the secretary, and the foundation was laid of 
a lasting political friendship and social intimacy. 
In the recess of the legislature, Mr. Gallatin joined 
Mr. Dallas and his wife in an excursion to the 
northward. Mr. Gallatin's health had suffered 
from close confinement and too strict attention to 


business, and he needed recreation and diversion. 
In the course of the journey the party was joined 
by some ladies, friends of Mrs. Dallas, among 
whom was Miss Hannah Nicholson. The excur- 
sion lasted nearly four weeks. The result was 
that Mr. Gallatin returned to Philadelphia the 
accepted suitor of this young lady. He describes 
her in a letter to Badollet as u a girl about twenty- 
five years old, who is neither handsome nor rich, 
but sensible, well-informed, good-natured, and be- 
longing to a respectable and very amiable family." 
Nor was he mistaken in his choice, — a more 
charming nature, a more perfect, well-rounded 
character than hers is rarely found. They were 
married on November 11, 1793. She was his 
faithful companion throughout his long and honor- 
able career, and death separated them but by a 
few months. This alliance greatly widened his 
political connection. 

Commodore James Nicholson, his wife's father, 
famous in the naval annals of the United States 
as the captain of the Trumbull, the first of Ameri- 
can frigates, at the time resided in New York, 
and was one of the acknowledged leaders of the 
Republican party in the city. His two brothers 
— Samuel and John — were captains in the naval 
service. His two elder daughters were married 
to influential gentlemen; — Catharine to Colonel 
Few, senator from Georgia; Frances, to Joshua 
Seney, member of Congress from Maryland ; Maria 
later (1809) married John Montgomery, who had 


been member of Congress from Maryland, and 
was afterwards mayor of Baltimore. A son, James 
Witter Nicholson, then a youth of twenty-one, 
was, in 1795, associated with Mr. Gallatin in his 
Western Company, and, removing to Fayette, 
made his home in what was later and is now 
known as New Geneva. Here, in connection with 
Mr. Gallatin and the brothers Kramer, Germans, 
he established extensive glass works, which proved 

Mr. Gallatin's election to the United States 
Senate did not disqualify him for his unfinished 
legislative term, and, on his return to Philadel- 
phia, he was again plunged in his manifold duties. 
The few days which intervened between his mar- 
riage and the meeting of Congress — a short honey- 
moon — were spent under the roof of Commodore 
Nicholson in New York. 

On February 28, 1793, the Vice-President laid 
before the Senate a certificate from the legislature 
of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to the elec- 
tion of Albert Gallatin as senator of the United 
States. Mr. Gallatin took his seat December 2, 
1793. The business of the session was opened by 
the presentation of a petition signed by nineteen 
individuals of Yorktown, Pennsylvania, stating 
that Mr. Gallatin had not been nine years a citi- 
zen of the United States. This petition had been 
handed to Robert Morris, Mr. Gallatin's colleague 
for Pennsylvania, by a member of the legislature 


for the county of York, but he had declined to 
present it, and declared to Mr. Gallatin his inten- 
tion to be perfectly neutral on the occasion — at 
least so Mr. Gallatin wrote to his wife the next 
day; but Morris did not hold fast to this resolu- 
tion, as the votes in the sequel show. The peti- 
tion was ordered to lie upon the table. On De- 
cember 11 Messrs. Rutherford, Cabot, Ellsworth, 
Liverraore, and Mitchell were appointed a com- 
mittee to consider the petition. These gentlemen, 
Gallatin wrote, were undoubtedly "the worst for 
him that could have been chosen, and did not 
seem to him to be favorably disposed." He him- 
self considered the legal point involved as a nice 
and difficult one, and likely to be decided by a 
party vote. The fourth article of the Constitution 
of the first Confederation of the United States 
reads as follows : — 

" The better to secure and perpetuate mutual friend- 
ship and intercourse among the people of the different 
States in this Union, the free inhabitants of each of 
these States, paupers, vagabonds, and fugitives from 
justice excepted, shall be entitled to all privileges and 
immunities of free citizens in the several States." 

Article 1, section 3, of the new Constitution 
declares : — 

" No person shall be a senator who shall not have 
attained to the age of thirty years, and been nine years 
a citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when 
elected, be an inhabitant of that State for which he shall 
be chosen." 


Mr. Gallatin landed in Massachusetts in July, 
1780, while still a minor. His residence, there- 
fore, which had been uninterrupted, extended over 
thirteen years. He took the oath of citizenship 
and allegiance to Virginia in October, 1785, since 
which, until his election in 1793, nine years, the 
period called for by the United States Constitu- 
tion, had not elapsed. On the one hand, his 
actual residence exceeded the required period of 
citizenship; on the other, his legal and technical 
residence as a citizen was insufficient. In T)oint 
of fact, his intention to become a citizen dated 
from the summer of 1783. 

To take from the case the air of party proscrip- 
tion, which it was beginning to assume, the Senate 
discharged its special committee, and raised a 
general committee on elections to consider this 
and other cases. On February 10, 1794, the re- 
port of this committee was submitted, and a day 
was set for a hearing by the Senate, with open 
doors. On that day Mr. Gallatin exhibited a 
written statement of facts, agreed to between him- 
self and the petitioners, and the case was left to 
the Senate on its merits. On the 28th a test vote 
was taken upon a motion to the effect that "Al- 
bert Gallatin, returned to this House as a member 
for the State of Pennsylvania, is duly qualified 
for and elected to a seat in the Senate of the 
United States," and it was decided in the negative 
■ — yeas, 12; nays, 14. 1 

1 The yeas and nays being required by one fifth of the senators 


Motion being made that the election of Albert 
Gallatin to be a senator of the United States was 
void, — he not having been a citizen of the United 
States for the term of years required as a qualifi- 
cation to be a senator of the United States, — it 
was further moved to divide the question at the 
word "void;' and the question being then taken 
on the first paragraph, it passed in the affirmative 
— yeas, 14; nays, 12. The yeas and nays were 
required, and the Senate divided as before. The 
resolution was then put and adopted by the same 
vote. Thus Mr. Gallatin, thirteen years a resi- 
dent of the country, a large land -holder in Vir- 
ginia, and for several terms a member of the Penn- 
sylvania legislature, was excluded from a seat in 
the Senate of the United States. 

Mr. Gallatin conducted his case with great dig- 
nity. On being asked whether he had any testi- 
mony to produce, he replied, in writing, that there 
was not sufficient matter charged in the petition 
and proved by the testimony to vacate his seat, 
and declined to go to the expense of collecting 
evidence until that preliminary question was set- 

Short as the period was during which Mr. Gal- 
latin held his seat, it was long enough for him 

present, there were : Affirmative. — Bradley, Brown, Burr, But- 
ler, Edwards, Gunn, Jackson, Langdon, Martin, Monroe, Robin- 
son, Taylor ; 12. 

Negative. — Bradford, Cabot, Ellsworth, Foster, Frelinghuysen, 
Hawkins, Izard, King, Liverraore, Mitchell, Morris, Potts, Strong, 
Vining ; 14. 


seriously to annoy the Federal leaders. Indeed, 
it is questionable whether, if he had delayed his 
embarrassing motion, a majority of the Senate 
could have been secured against him. Certain it 
is that the Committee on Elections, appointed on 
December 11, did not send in its report until the 
day after Mr. Gallatin moved his resolution, call- 
ing upon the secretary of the treasury for an elab- 
orate statement of the debt on January 1, 1794, 
under distinct heads, including the balances to 
creditor States, a statement of loans, domestic and 
foreign, contracted from the beginning of the 
government, statements of exports and imports; 
finally for a summary statement of the receipts and 
expenditures to the last day of December, 1790, 
distinguishing the moneys received under each 
branch of the revenue and the moneys expended 
under each of the appropriations, and stating the 
balances of each branch of the revenue remaining 
unexpended on that day, and also calling for simi- 
lar and separate statements for the years 1791, 
1792, 1793. This resolution, introduced on Janu- 
ary 8, was laid over. On the 20th it was adopted. 
It was not until February 10 that a reply from 
the secretary of the treasury was received by the 
Senate, and on the 11th submitted to Gallatin, 
Ellsworth, and Taylor for consideration and re- 
port. In this letter (February 6, 1794) Hamilton 
stated the difficulty of supplying the precise infor- 
mation called for, with the clerical forces of the 
department, the interruption it would cause in the 


daily routine of the service, and deprecated the 
practice of such unexpected demands. 

With this response of the secretary the inquiry 
fell to the ground, but it was neither forgotten 
nor forgiven by his adherents, and Mr. Gallatin 
paid the penalty on at least one occasion. This 
was years later, when he himself was secretary of 
the treasury. On March 2, 1803, the day before 
the adjournment of Congress, Mr. Griswold, Fed- 
eralist from Connecticut, attacked the correctness 
of the accounts of the sinking fund, and demanded 
an answer to a resolution of the House on the 
management of this bureau. Had such been his 
desire, Mr. Gallatin was foreclosed from Hamil- 
ton's excuse. On the night of the 3d he sent in 
an elaborate statement which set accusation at rest 
and criticism at defiance. 

Mr. Gallatin's short stay in the Senate revealed 
to the Federalists the character of the man, who, 
disdaining the lesser flight, checked only at the 
highest game. He accepted his exclusion with 
perfect philosophy. Soon after the session opened 
he said, "My feelings cannot be much hurt by an 
unfavorable decision, since having been elected is 
an equal proof of the confidence the legislature of 
Pennsylvania reposed in me, and not being quali- 
fied, if it is so decided, cannot be imputed to me 
as a fault." His exclusion was by no means a 
disadvantage to him. It made common cause of 
the honor of Pennsylvania and his own; it en- 
deared him to the Republicans of his State as a 


martyr to their principles. It "secured him," 
to use his own words, "many staunch' friends 
throughout the Union, and extended his reputa- 
tion, hitherto local and confined, over the entire 
land; more than all, it led him to the true field 
of political contest — the House of Representatives 
of the people of the United States. 



Mr. Gallatin was now out of public life. Foi. 
eighteen months since he came up to the legisla- 
ture with his friends of the Pittsburgh convention,, 
he had no'; returned to Fayette. His private con- 
cerns were suffering in his absence. Neither his 
barn, his meadow, nor his house was finished at 
the close of 1793. In May, 1794, he took his 
wife to his country home. Their hopes of a sum- 
mer of recreation and domestic comfort in the wild 
beauties of the Monongahela were not to be real- 
ized. Before the end of June the peaceful country 
was in a state of mad agitation. 

The seeds of political discontent, sown at Pitts- 
burgh in 1792, had ripened to an abundant har- 
vest. An act passed by Congress June 5, 1794, 
giving to the state courts concurrent jurisdiction 
in excise cases, removed the grievance of which 
Gallatin complained, the dragging of accused per- 
sons to Philadelphia for trial, but was not con- 
strued to be retroactive in its operation. The mar- 
shal, accordingly, found it to be his duty to serve 
the writs of May 31 against those who had fallen 
under their penalties. These writs were return- 


able in Philadelphia. They were served without 
trouble in Fayette County. Not so in Allegheny. 
Here on July 15, 1794, the marshal had completed 
his service, when, while still in the execution of 
his office, and in company with the inspector, he 
was followed and fired upon. The next day a 
body of men went to the house of the marshal and 
demanded that he should deliver up his commis- 
sion. They were fired upon and dispersed, six 
were wounded, and the leader killed. A general 
rising followed. The marshal's house, though de- 
fended by Major Kirkpatrick, with a squad from 
the Pittsburgh garrison, was set on fire, with the 
adjacent buildings, and burned. On July 18 the 
insurgents sent a deputation of two or three to 
Pittsburgh, to require of the marshal a surrender 
of the processes in his possession, and of the in- 
spector the resignation of his office. These de- 
mands were, of course, rejected; but the officers, 
alarmed for their personal safety, left the town, 
and, descending the Ohio by boat to Marietta, 
proceeded by a circuitous route to Philadelphia, 
and made their report to the United States au- 

This was the outbreak of the Western or Whis- 
key Insurrection. The excitement spread rapidly 
through the western counties. Fayette County 
was not exempt from it. The collector's house 
was broken into, and his commission taken from 
him by armed men; the sheriff refused to serve 
the writs against the rioters of the spring. Since 


these disturbances there had been no trouble in 
this county. But the malcontents elsewhere rose 
in arms, riots ensued, and the safety of the whole 
community was compromised. The news reaching 
Fayette, the distillers held a meeting at Union- 
town, the county seat, on July 20. Both Gallatin 
and Smilie were present, and by their advice it 
was agreed to submit to the laws. The neighbor- 
ing counties were less fortunate. On July 21 the 
Washington County committee was summoned to 
meet at Mingo Creek Meeting-house. On the 23d 
there was a large assemblage of people, including 
a number of those who had been concerned in 
burning the house of the Pittsburgh inspector. 
James Marshall, the same who opposed the ratifi- 
cation of the federal Constitution, David Brad- 
ford, the "empty drum," and Judge Brackenridge 
of Pittsburgh, attended this meeting. Bradford, 
the most unscrupulous of the leaders, sought to 
shirk his responsibility, but was intimidated by 
threats, and thereafter did not dare to turn back. 
Brackenridge was present to counsel the insurgents 
to moderation. In spite of his efforts the meeting 
ended in an invitation, which the officers had not 
the boldness to sign, to the townships of the four 
western counties of Pennsylvania and the adjoin- 
ing counties of Virginia to send representatives 
to a general meeting on August 14, at Parkinson's 
Ferry on the Monongahela, in Washington County. 
Bradford, determined to aggravate the disturbance, 
stopped the mail at Greensburg, on the road be- 


tween Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, and robbed it 
of the Washington and Pittsburgh letters, some of 
which he published, to the alarm of their authors. 
On July 28 a circular signed by Bradford, 
Marshall, and others was sent out from Cannons- 
burg to the militia of the county, whom it sum- 
moned for personal service, and likewise called 
for volunteers to rendezvous the following Wednes- 
day, July 30, at their respective places of meeting, 
thence to march to Braddock's Field, on the Mo- 
nongahela, the usual rendezvous of the militia, 
about eight miles south of Pittsburgh, by two 
o'clock of Friday, August 1. It closed in these 
words, u Here is an expedition proposed in which 
you will have an opportunity for displaying your 
military talents and of rendering service to your 
country." Nothing less was contemplated by the 
more extreme of these men than an attack upon 
Fort Pitt and the sack of Pittsburgh. Thoroughly 
aroused at last, the moderate men of Washington 
determined to breast the storm. A meeting was 
held; James Ross of the United States Senate 
made an earnest appeal, and was supported by 
Scott of the House of Representatives and Stokely 
of the Senate of Pennsylvania. Marshall and 
Bradford yielded, and consented to countermand 
the order of rendezvous. But the excited popula- 
tion poured into the town from all quarters, and 
Bradford, who found that he had gone too far to 
retreat, again took the lead of the movement, 
already beyond restraint. 


There are accounts of this formidable insurrec- 
tion by H. H. Brackenridge and William Findley, 
eye-witnesses. These supply abundant details. 
Findley says that he knew that the movement 
would not stop at the limit apparently set for it. 
"The opposing one law would lead to oppose an- 
other; they would finally oppose all, and demand 
a new modeling of the Constitution, and there 
would be a revolution." There was great alarm 
in Pittsburgh. A meeting was held there Thursday 
evening, July 31, at which a message from the 
Washington County insurgents was read, violent 
resolutions adopted, and the 9th of August ap- 
pointed as the day for a town meeting for election 
of delegates to a general convention of the coun- 
ties at Parkinson's Ferry; Judge Brackenridge 
of Pittsburgh, a man of education, influence, and 
infinite jest and humor, was present at this meet- 
ing. Of Scotch-Irish birth himself, his sympa- 
thies of race were with his countrymen, but in 
political sentiments he was not in harmony with 
their leaders. They were nearly all Republicans, 
while he had sided with the Federalists in the 
convention which adopted the new Constitution of 
the United States. He was a man of peace, and 
of too much sagacity not to foresee the inevitable 
ruin upon which they were rushing. At Mingo 
Creek he had thwarted the plans of immediate 
revolution. The evident policy of moderate men 
was to prevent any violence before the convention 
at Parkinson's Ferry should meet, and to bend all 


fcheir energies to control the deliberations of that 
body. The people of Pittsburgh were intensely 
excited by the armed gathering almost at their 

Brackenridge felt that the only safe issue from 
the situation was to take part in and shape the 
action of that gathering. Under his lead a com- 
mittee from the Pittsburgh meeting, followed by 
a large body of the citizens, went out to the ren- 
dezvous. Here they found a motley assemblage, 
arrayed in the picturesque campaign costume which 
the mountaineers wore when they equipped them- 
selves to meet the Indians, — yellow hunting-shirts, 
handkerchiefs tied about their heads, and rifles on 
the shoulder; the militia were on foot, and the 
light horse of the counties were in military dress. 
Conspicuous about the field, "haughty and pom- 
pous," as Gallatin described him in the legislature, 
was David Bradford, who had assumed the office 
of major-general. Brackenridge draws a lifelike 
picture of him as, mounted on a superb horse in 
splendid trappings, arrayed in full uniform, with 
plume floating in the air and sword drawn, he rode 
over the ground, gave orders to the military, and 
harangued the multitude. On the historic ground 
where Washington plucked his first military lau- 
rels were gathered about seven thousand men, of 
whom two thousand militia were armed and ac- 
coutred as for a campaign, — a formidable and 
remarkable assemblage, when it is considered that 
the entire male population of sixteen years of age 


and upwards of the four counties did not exceed 
sixteen thousand, and was scattered over a wide 
and unsettled country. This is Brackenridge's 
estimate of the numbers. Later, Gallatin, on 
comparison of the best attainable information, es- 
timated the whole body at from fifteen hundred to 
two thousand men. Whatever violence Bradford 
may have intended, none was accomplished. That 
he read aloud the Pittsburgh letters, taken from 
the mail, shows his purpose to inflame the people 
to vindictive violence. He was accused by con- 
temporary authorities of imitation of the methods 
of the French Jacobins, which were fresh examples 
of revolutionary vigor. But the mass was not 
persuaded. After desultory conversation and dis- 
cussion, the angry turn of which was at times 
threatening to the moderate leaders, the meeting 
broke up on August 2 ; about one third dispersed 
for their homes, and the remainder, marching to 
Pittsburgh, paraded through the streets, and finally 
crossing the river in their turn scattered. They 
did no damage to the town beyond the burning 
of a farm belonging to Major Kirkpa trick of the 
garrison. The taverns were all closed, but the 
citizens brought whiskey to their doors. Judge 
Brackenridge reports that his sacrifice to peace on 
this occasion cost him four barrels of his best old 

This moderation was no augury of permanent 
quiet. Brackenridge, who was a keen observer 
of men, says of the temper of the western popula- 


tion at this period : " I had seen the spirit which 
prevailed at the Stamp Act, and at the commence- 
ment of the revolution from the government of 
Great Britain, but it was by no means so general 
and so vigorous amongst the common people as 
the spirit which now existed in the country." 
Nor did the armed bands all return peaceably to 
their homes. The house of the collector for Fay- 
ette and Washington counties was burned, and 
warnings were given to those who were disposed 
to submit to the law. The disaffected were called 
"Tom the tinker" men, from the signature affixed 
to the threatening notices. From a passage in 
one of Gallatin's letters it appears that there was 
a person of that name, a New England man, who 
had been concerned in Shays 's insurrection. Lib- 
erty poles, with the device, "An equal tax and 
no excise law," were raised, and the trees pla- 
carded with the old revolutionary motto, "United 
we stand, divided we fall," with a divided snake 
as an emblem. Mr. Gallatin's neighborhood was 
not represented at Braddock's Field, and not more 
than a dozen were present from the entire county. 
But now the flame spread there also, and liberty 
poles were raised. Mr. Gallatin himself, inquir- 
ing as to their significance and expressing to the 
men engaged the hope that they would not behave 
like a mob, was asked, in return, if he was not 
aware of the Westmoreland resolution that any 
one calling the people a mob should be tarred and 
feathered, — an amusing example of that mob logic 


which proves the affirmative of the proposition it 

Mr. Gallatin did not attend the meeting at 
Braddock's Field. Somewhat isolated at his resi- 
dence at the southerly border of the county, en- 
gaged in the care of his long neglected farm, and 
in the full enjoyment of release from the bustle 
and excitement of public life, he had paid little 
attention to passing events. He was preparing 
definitively to abandon political pursuits and to 
follow some kind of mercantile business, or take 
up some land speculation and study law in his 
intervals of leisure. It was not a year since he 
had given hostages to fortune. He was now in 
the full tide of domestic happiness, which was al- 
ways to him the dearest and most coveted. He 
might well have hesitated before again engaging . 
upon the dangerous and uncertain task of control- 
ling an excited and aggrieved population. But he 
did not hesitate. 

The people among whom he had made his home, 
and whose confidence had never failed him, were 
his people. By them he would stand in their ex- 
tremity, and if hurt or ruin befell them, it should 
not be for want of the interposition of his counsel. 
He knew his powers, and he determined to bring 
them into full play. He knew the danger also, 
but it only nerved him to confront and master it. 
He knew his duty, and did not swerve one hair 
from the line it prompted. In no part of his long, 
varied, and useful political life* does he appear to 


better advantage than in this exciting episode of 
the Whiskey Insurrection. His self-possession, 
his cool judgment, swayed neither by timidity nor 
rashness, never for a moment failed him. Here 
he displayed that remarkable combination of per- 
suasion and control, — the indispensable equip- 
ment of a political chief, — which, in later days, 
gave him the leadership of the Republican party. 
With intuitive perception of the political situation 
he saw that the only path to safety, beset with 
difficulty and danger though it were, was through 
the convention at Parkinson's Ferry. He did not 
believe that any revolutionary proceedings had yet 
been taken, or that the convention was an illegal 
body, but he was determined to separate the wheat 
from the chaff, and disengage the moderate and 
the law-abiding from the disorderly. By the light 
of his own experience he had learned wisdom. He 
also had drawn a lesson from the French Revolu- 
tion, and knew the uncontrollable nature of large 
popular assemblages. The news from Philadel- 
phia, the seat of government, was of a kind to 
increase his alarm. Washington was not the man 
to overlook such an insult to authority as the re- 
sistance to the marshal and inspector ; nor was it 
probable that Hamilton would let pass such an 
occasion for showing the strength and vigor of the 

Before the meeting at Braddock's Field, the 
secretary's plans for a suppression of the insurrec- 
tion were matured. On August 2 he laid before 


the President an estimate of the probable armed 
force of the insurgents, and of that with which he 
proposed to reduce them to submission. When 
the question of the use of force came before the 
cabinet, Edmund Randolph, who was secretary of 
state, opposed it in a written opinion, one phrase 
of which deserves repetition : — 

" It is a fact well known that the parties in the United 
States are highly inflamed against each other, and that 
there is but one character which keeps both in awe. As 
soon as the sword shall be drawn, who shall be able to 
retain them." 

Mifflin, the governor of Pennsylvania, depre- 
cated immediate resort to force; the venerable 
Chief Justice McKean suggested the sending of 
commissioners on the part of the federal and state 
governments. Washington, with perfect judg- 
ment, combined these plans, and happily allied 
conciliation with force. A proclamation was is- 
sued on August 7 summoning all persons involved 
in the disturbance to lay down their arms and re- 
pair to their homes by September 1. Requisitions 
were made upon the governors of Pennsylvania, 
Maryland, Virginia, and New Jersey for fifteen 
thousand men in all, and a joint commission of 
^.ve was raised, — three of whom on the part of 
the United States were appointed by the Presi- 
dent, and two on the part of the State of Pennsyl- 
vania. This news was soon known at Pittsburgh, 
and rapidly spread through the adjacent country; 


and it was clear that in the proceedings to be 
taken at Parkinson's Ferry the question of resist- 
ance or submission must be definitively settled. 
On August 14, 1794, the convention assembled; 
two hundred and twenty-six delegates in all, of 
whom ninety-three were from Washington, forty- 
nine from Westmoreland, forty -three from Alle- 
gheny, thirty-three from Fayette, two from Bed- 
ford, five from Ohio County in Virginia, with 
spectators to about the same number. 

Parkinson's Ferry, later called Williamsport, 
and now Monongahela City, is on the left bank 
of the Monongahela, about half way between Pitts- 
burgh and Red Stone Old Fort or Brownsville. 
Brackenridge pictures the scene with his usual 
local color : " Our hall was a grove, and we might 
well be called 4 the Mountain ' (an allusion to the 
radical left of the French convention), for we were 
on a very lofty ground overlooking the river. We 
had a gallery of lying timber and stumps, and 
there were more peojile collected there than there 
was of the committee." In full view of the meet- 
ing stood a liberty pole, raised in the morning by 
the men who signed the Braddock's Field circular 
order, and it bore the significant motto, "Liberty 
and no excise and no asylum for cowards." Among 
the delegates, or the committee, to use their own 
term, were Bradford, Marshall, Brackenridge, 
Findley, and Gallatin. Before the meeting was 
organized, Marshall came to Gallatin and showed 
him the resolutions which he intended to move, 


intimating at the same time that he wished Mr. 
Gallatin to act as secretary. Mr. Gallatin told 
him that he highly disapproved the resolutions, 
and had come to oppose both him and Bradford, 
and therefore did not wish to serve. Marshall 
seemed to waver; but soon the people met, and 
Edward Cook of Fayette, who had presided at 
Braddock's Field, was chosen chairman, with Gal- 
latin for secretary. Bradford opened the proceed- 
ings with a summary sketch of the action previ- 
ously taken, declared the purpose of the committee 
to be to determine on a course of action, and his 
own views to be the appointment of committees to 
raise money, purchase arms, enlist volunteers, or 
draft the militia: in a word, though he did not 
use it, to levy war. 

At this point in the proceedings the arrival of 
the commissioners from the President was an- 
nounced, but the progress of the meeting was not 
interrupted. The commissioners were at a house 
near the meeting, but there were serious objections 
against holding a conference at this place. 

Marshall then moved his resolutions. The first, 
declaratory of the grievance of carrying citizens 
great distances for trial, was unanimously agreed 
to. The second called for a committee of public 
safety "to call forth the resources of the western 
country to repel any hostile attempts that may be 
made against the rights of the citizens, or of the 
body of the people." Had this resolution been 
adopted, the people were definitively committed to 


overt rebellion. This brought Mr. Gallatin at 
once to his feet. He denied that any hostile at- 
tempts against the rights of the people were threat- 
ened, and drew an adroit distinction between the 
regular army, which had not been called out, and 
the militia, who were a part of the people them- 
selves; and to gain time he moved a reference of 
the resolutions to a committee who should be in- 
structed to wait the action of the government. 
In the course of his speech Gallatin denied the 
assertion that resistance to the excise law was 
legal, or that coercion by the government was 
necessarily hostile. He was neither supported by 
his own friends nor opposed by those of Bradford. 
He stood alone. 

But Marshall withdrew his resolution, and a 
committee of sixty was appointed, with power to 
summon the people. The only other objectionable 
resolution was that which pledged the people to 
the support of tne laws, except the excise law and 
the taking of citizens out of their counties for 
trial, — an exception which Gallatin succeeded in 
having stricken out. He then urged the adoption 
of the resolution, without the exception, as neces- 
sary "to the establishment of the laws and the 
conservation of the peace," and here he was sup- 
ported by Brackenridge. The entire resolutions 
were finally referred to a committee of four, — 
Gallatin, Bradford, Husbands, and Brackenridge. 
The meeting then adjourned. The next morning 
a standing committee of sixty was chosen, one 


from each township. From these a committee of 
twelve was selected to confer with the government 
commissioners. Upon this committee were Cook, 
the chairman, Bradford* Marshall, Gallatin, Brack- 
enridge, and Edgar. The meeting then adjourned. 

Upon this representative body there seems to 
have been no outside pressure. The proclamation 
of the President, which arrived while it was in 
session, showed the determination, while the ap- 
pointment of the commission showed the modera- 
tion, of the government. Gallatin availed of each 
circumstance with consummate adroitness, point- 
ing out to the desperate the folly of resistance, 
and to the moderate an issue for honorable retreat* 

Meanwhile, the commissioners reached Pitts- 
burgh, where on August 20 the committee of con- 
ference was received by them, and an informal un- 
derstanding arrived at, which was put in writing. 
The laws were to be enforced with as little incon- 
venience to the people as possible. All criminal 
suits for indictable offenses were to be dropped, 
but civil suits were to take their course. Notice 
was given that a definitive submission must be 
made by September 1 following. On the 22d the 
conference committee answered that they must 
consult with the committee of sixty. Thursday 
the 28th was appointed for a meeting at Red 
Stone Old Fort, the very spot where the original 
resolutions of opposition were passed in 1791. In 
the report drawn up every member of the twelve, 
except Bradford, favored submission. 


The hour was critical, the deliberations were in 
the open air, and under the eyes of a threatening 
party of seventy riflemen accidentally present from 
Washington County across the stream. Bradford, 
who instinctively felt that he had placed himself 
beyond the pale of pardon, and to whom there 
was no alternative to revolution but flight, pressed 
an instant decision and rejection of the written 
terms of the commissioners. In the presence of 
personal danger, the conferrees only dared to move 
that part of their report which advised acceptance 
of the proffered terms. The question of submis- 
sion they left untouched. An adjournment was 
obtained. The next day, to quote the words of 
Brackenridge, "the committee having convened, 
Gallatin addressed the chair in a speech of some 
hours. It was a piece of perfect eloquence, and 
was heard with attention and without disturbance." 
Never was there a more striking instance of intel- 
lectual control over a popular assemblage. He 
saved the western counties of Pennsylvania from 
anarchy and civil war. He was followed by Brack- 
enridge, who, warned by the example of his com- 
panion, or encouraged by the quiet of the assem- 
blage, supported him with vigor. Bradford, on 
the other hand, faced the issue with directness and 
savage vehemence. He repelled the idea of sub- 
mission, and insisted upon an independent govern- 
ment and a declaration of war. Edgar of Wash- 
ington rejoined in support of the report. Gallatin 
now demanded a vote, but the twelve conferrees 


alone supported him. He then proposed an in- 
formal vote, but without result. Finally a secret 
ballot was proposed by a member. A hat was 
passed, and when the slips of paper were taken 
out, there were thirty -four yeas and twenty-three 
nays. The report was declared to be adopted, 
and amid the scowls of the armed witnesses the 
meeting adjourned; not, however, before a new 
committee of conference had been appointed. On 
this new committee not one of the old leaders was 
named. They evidently knew the folly of further 
delay, or of attempting to secure better terms. 
As his final act Colonel Cook, the chairman of the 
standing committee of sixty, indorsed the resolu- 
tion adopted. It declared it to be "to the interest 
of the people of the country to accede to the pro- 
posals made by the commissioners on the part of 
the United States." This was duly forwarded, 
with request for a further conference. The com- 
missioners consented, but declined to postpone the 
time of taking the sense of the people beyond 
September 11. 

William Findley said of the famous and critical 
debate at Red Stone : " I had never heard speeches 
that I more ardently desired to see in print than 
those delivered on this occasion. They would not 
only be valuable on account of the oratory and in- 
formation displayed in all the three, and especially 
in Gallatin's, who opened the way, but they would 
also have been the best history of the spirit and 
the mistakes which then actuated men's minds.'' 


Findley, in his allotment of the honors of the 
day, considers that "the verbal alterations made 
by Gallatin saved the question." Brackenridge 
thought that his own seeming to coincide with 
Bradford prevented the declaration of war; and 
he has been credited with having saved the western 
counties from the horrors of civil war, Pittsburgh 
from destruction, and the Federal Union from im- 
minent danger. 

Historians have agreed in according to Gallatin 
the honor of this field day. It was left to John 
C. Hamilton, half a century later, to charge a 
want of courage upon Gallatin, — a baseless charge. 1 
Not Malesherbes, the noble advocate defending the 
accused monarch before the angry French conven- 
tion, with the certainty of the guillotine as the 
reward of his generosity, is more worthy of admi- 
ration than Gallatin boldly pleading the cause of 
order within rifle range of an excited band of law- 
less frontiersmen. If, as he confessed later, in 
his part in the Pittsburgh resolutions he was guilty 
of "a political sin," he nobly atoned for it under 
circumstances that would have tried the courage 
of men bred to danger and to arms. Sin it was, 
and its consequences were not yet summed up. 
For although the back of the insurrection was 
broken at Red Stone Old Fort, there was much 
yet to be done before submission could be com- 

Bradford attempted to sign, but found that his 

1 Hamilton's History of the Republic, vi. 96. 


course at Red Stone Old Fort had placed him 
outside the amnesty. Well might the moderate 
men say in their familiar manner of Scripture 
allusion, "Dagon is fallen." He fled down the 
Ohio and Mississippi to Louisiana, then foreign 
soil. The commissioners waited at Pittsburgh for 
the signatures of adhesion on September 10, which 
was the last day allowed by the terms of amnesty. 
They required that meetings should be held on 
this day in the several townships; the presiding 
officers to report the result to commissioner Ross 
at Uniontown the 16th of the same month, on 
which day he would set out for Philadelphia. 
The time was inadequate, but there was no help. 
Gallatin hastened the submission of Fayette, and 
a meeting of committees from the several town- 
ships met at the county seat, Uniontown, on Sep- 
tember 10, 1794, when a declaration drawn by 
Mr. Gallatin was unanimously adopted. A pas- 
sage in this admirable paper shows the compara- 
tive order which prevailed in Fayette County dur- 
ing this period of trouble. It is an appeal to the 
people of the neighboring counties, who, under the 
influence of their passions and resentment, might 
blame those of Fayette for their moderation. 

11 The only reflection we mean to suggest to them is 
the disinterestedness of our conduct upon this occasion. 
The indictable offences to be buried in oblivion were 
committed amongst them, and almost every civil suit 
that has been instituted under the revenue law, in the 
federal court, was commenced against citizens of this 


county. By the terms proposed, the criminal prosecu- 
tions are to be dropped, but no condition could be ob- 
tained for the civil suits. We have been instrumental 
in obtaining an amnesty, from which those alone who 
had a share in the riots derive a benefit, and the other 
inhabitants of the western country have gained nothing 
for themselves." 

This declaration was forwarded on September 
17 to Governor Mifflin, with reasons for the delay, 
and advice that signatures were fast being ob- 
tained, not only in the neighboring counties, but 
even in Fayette, where this formality had not been 
thought necessary. It closes with a forcible ap- 
peal to delay the sending of troops until every 
conciliatory measure should have proved abortive. 

But the commissioners, unfortunately, were not 
favorably impressed with the reception they met 
with or the scenes they witnessed on their western 
mission. They had heard of Bradford's threat to 
establish an independent government west of the 
mountains, and they had seen a liberty pole raised 
upon which the people with the greatest difficulty 
had been dissuaded from hoisting a flag with six 
stripes — emblematic of the six counties repre- 
sented in the committee. The flag was made, but 
set aside for the fifteen stripes with reluctance. 
This is Findley's recollection, but Brackenridge 
says that it was a flag of seven stars for the four 
western counties, Bedford, and the two counties 
of Virginia. This, he adds, was the first and only 
manifestation among any class of a desire to sepa- 


rate from the Union. But here his memory failed 

Hamilton had long been impatient. Again, as 
in old days, he presented his arguments directly 
to the people. Under the heading, "Tully to the 
people of the United States," he printed a letter 
on August 26, of which the following is a pas- 
sage : — 

" Your representatives in Congress, pursuant to the 
commission derived from you, and with a full knowledge 
of the public exigencies, have laid an excise. At three 
succeeding sessions they have revised that act . . . and 
you have actually paid more than a million of dollars on 
account of it. But the four western counties of Penn- 
sylvania undertake to rejudge and reverse your decrees. 
You have said, ' The Congress shall have power to lay 
excises.' They say, 'The Congress shall not have this 
power ; ' or, what is equivalent, they shall not exercise 
it, for a power that may not be exercised is a nullity. 
Your representatives have said, and four times repeated 
it, ' An excise on distilled spirits shall be collected ; ' 
they say, ' It shall not be collected. We will punish, 
expel, and banish the officers who shall attempt the col- 
lection.' " 

The peace commissioners returned to Philadel- 
phia and made their report on September 24. The 
next day, September 25, Washington issued a 
proclamation calling out the troops. In it he again 
warned the insurgents. The militia, already armed, 
accoutred, and equipped, and awaiting marching 
orders, moved at once. Governor Mifflin at first 


hesitated about his power to call out the militia, 
but when the President's requisition was made, he 
summoned the legislature in special session, and 
obtained from it a hearty support, with authority 
to accept volunteers and offer a bounty. Thus 
fortified, he made a tour through the lower coun- 
ties of the State, and by his extraordinary popular 
eloquence soon filled up the ranks. The old sol- 
dier led his troops in person. Those of New Jer- 
sey were commanded by their governor, Richard 
Howell of Revolutionary fame. These formed the 
right wing and marched to rendezvous at Bedford 
to cross the mountains by the northern and Penn- 
sylvania route. The left wing, composed of the 
Virginia troops, under the veteran Morgan, and 
those of Maryland, under Samuel Smith, a briga- 
dier-general in the army of the Revolution, assem- 
bled at Cumberland to cross the mountains by 
Braddock's Road. The chief command was con- 
fided to Governor Henrv Lee of Virginia. Wash- 
ington accompanied the army as far as Bedford. 
Hamilton continued with it to Pittsburgh, which 
was reached in the last days of October and the 
first of November, after a wearisome march across 
the mountains in heavy weather. Arrived in the 
western counties, the army found no opposition. 

Meanwhile, on October 2, the standing commit- 
tee met again at Parkinson's Ferry, and unani- 
mously adopted resolutions declaring the general 
submission, and explaining the reasons why signa- 
tures to the amnesty had not been general. Find- 


ley and Redick were appointed to take these reso- 
lutions to the President, and to urge him to stop 
the march of the troops. They met the left wing 
at Carlisle. Washington received them courte- 
ously, but did not consent to countermand the 
march. They hurried back for more unequivocal 
assurances, which they hoped to be able to carry 
to meet Washington on his way to review the right 
wing. On October 14, the day of the autumn 
elections, general submissions were universally 
signed, and finally, on October 24, a third and 
last meeting was held at Parkinson's Ferry, at 
which a thousand people attended, when, with 
James Edgar, chairman, and Albert Gallatin, 
secretary, it was resolved, first, that the civil au- 
thority was fully competent to punish both past 
and future breaches of the law; secondly, that 
surrender should be made of all persons charged 
with offenses, in default of which the committee 
would aid in bringing them to justice; thirdly, 
that offices of inspection might be opened, and 
that the distillers were willing and ready to enter 
their stills. 

These resolutions were published in the "Pitts- 
burgh Gazette." Findley carried them to Bed- 
ford, but before he reached the army the President 
had returned to Philadelphia. The march of the 
army was not stopped. The two wings made a 
junction at Uniontown. Companies of horse were 
scattered through the country. New submissions 
were made, and the oath of allegiance, required 
by General Lee, was generally taken. 


Hamilton now investigated the whole matter of 
the insurrection, and it was charged against him, 
and the charge is supported by Findley, with 
names of persons, that he spared no effort to se- 
cure evidence to bring Gallatin within the pale of 
an indictment. Of course he failed in this pur- 
pose, if indeed it were ever seriously entertained. 
But the belief that Gallatin was the arch-fiend, 
who instigated the Whiskey Insurrection, had 
already become a settled article in the Federalist 
creed, and for a quarter of a century, long after 
the Federalist party had become a tradition of 
the past, the Genevan was held up to scorn and 
hatred, as an incarnation of deviltry — an enemy 
of mankind. 

On the 8th of November, Hamilton, who re- 
mained with the army, wrote to the President that 
General Lee had concluded to take hold of all who 
are worth the trouble by the military arm, and then 
to deliver them over to the disposition of the judi- 
ciary. In the mean time, he adds, "all possible 
means are using to obtain evidence, and accom- 
plices will be turned against the others." 

The night of November 13, 1794, was appointed 
for the arrests ; a dreadful night Findley describes 
it to have been. The night was frosty ; at eight 
o'clock the horse sallied forth, and before daylight 
arrested in their beds about two hundred men. 
The New Jersey horse made the seizures in the 
Mingo Creek settlement, the hot-bed of the insur- 
rection and the scene of the early excesses. The 


prisoners were taken to Pittsburgh, and thence, 
mounted on horses, and guarded by the Philadel- 
phia Gentlemen Corps, to the capital. Their en- 
trance into Cannonsburg is graphically described 
by Dr. Carnahan, president of Princeton College, 
in his account of the insurrection. 

M The contrast between the Philadelphia horsemen 
and the prisoners was the most striking that can be 
imagined. The Philadelphians were some of the most 
wealthy and respectable men of that city. Their uni- 
form was blue, of the finest broadcloth. Their horses 
were large and beautiful, all of a bay color, so nearly 
alike that it seemed that every two of them would make 
a good span of coach horses. Their trappings were su- 
perb. Their bridles, stirrups, and martingales glittered 
with silver. Their swords, which were drawn, and held 
elevated in the right hand, gleamed in the rays of the 
setting sun. The prisoners were also mounted on horses 
of all shapes, sizes, and colors ; some large, some small, 
some long tails, some short, some fat, some lean, some 
every color and form that can be named. Some had 
saddles, some blankets, some bridles, some halters, some 
with stirrups, some with none. The riders also were 
various and grotesque in their appearance. Some were 
old, some young, some hale, respectable looking men ; 
others were pale, meagre, and shabbily dressed. Some 
had great coats, — others had blankets on their shoul- 
ders. The countenance of some was downcast, melan- 
choly, dejected ; that of others, stern, indignant, mani- 
festing that they thought themselves undeserving such 
treatment. Two Philadelphia horsemen rode in front 
and then two prisoners, and two horsemen and two 


prisoners, actually throughout a line extending perhaps 
half a mile. ... If these men had been the ones chiefly- 
guilty of the disturbance, it would have been no more 
than they deserved. But the guilty had signed the 
amnesty, or had left the county before the army ap- 

Dallas, the secretary of state, Gallatin's friend, 
was one of this troop. Gallatin saw him soon 
after his return. In a letter to his wife of Decem- 
ber 3, Gallatin relates the experience of the trooper 
who had little stomach for the work he had to do. 

" I saw Dallas yesterday. Poor fellow had a most 
disagreeable campaign of it. He says the spirits, I call 
it the madness, of the Philadelphia Gentlemen's Corps 
was beyond conception before the arrival of the Presi- 
dent. He saw a list (handed about through the army 
by officers, nay, by a general officer) of the names of 
those persons who were to be destroyed at all events, 
and you may easily guess my own was one of the most 
conspicuous. Being one day at table with sundry 
officers, and having expressed his opinion that, if the 
army were going only to support the civil authority, and 
not to do any military execution, one of them (Dallas 
did not tell me his name, but I am told it was one Ross 
of Lancaster, aide-de-camp to Mifflin) half drew a dag- 
ger he wore instead of a sword, and swore any man 
who uttered such sentiments ought to be dagged. The 
President, however, on his arrival, and afterwards 
Hamilton, took uncommon pains to change the senti- 
ments, and at last it became fashionable to adopt, or at 
least to express, sentiments similar to those inculcated 
by them." 


Randolph was, perhaps, not far out of the way 
in his fear of a civil war should blood be drawn, 
and in his conviction that the influence of Wash- 
ington was the only sedative for the fevered politi- 
cal pulse. On November 17 general orders were 
issued for the return of the army, a detachment of 
twenty-five hundred men only remaining in the 
West, under command of General Morgan. There 
were no further disturbances. The army expenses 
gave a circulating medium, and the farmers, hav- 
ing now the means to pay their taxes, made no 
further complaints of the excise law. The total 
expense of the insurrection to the government was 

Mr. Gallatin returned with his wife from his 
western home early in November. He had been 
again chosen at the October elections to represent 
Fayette in the Pennsylvania Assembly. More- 
over, at the same time, he was elected to represent 
the congressional district of Washington and Alle- 
gheny in the House of Representatives of the 
United States. Of four candidates Gallatin led 
the poll. Judge Brackenridge was next in order. 
No better proof is needed of the firm hold Gallatin 
had in the esteem and affection of the people. No 
doubt, either, that they understood his principles, 
and relied upon his sincere attachment to the 
country he had made his home. 

When he appeared to take his seat in the As- 
sembly he found that his election was contested. 
A petition was presented from thirty -four persons 


calling themselves peaceable citizens of Washing- 
ton County, which stated that their votes had not 
been cast, because of the disturbed condition of 
the country, and requested the Assembly to declare 
the district to have been in a state of insurrection 
at the time of the election, and to vacate the same. 
Mr. Gallatin knew the person who procured the 
signatures, and also that the business originated 
in the army. It was couched in terms insulting 
to all the members elect from that district. After 
a protracted debate the election was declared void 
on January 9, 1795. It was during this debate 
that Mr. Gallatin made the celebrated speech 
called u The speech on the western elections," in 
which occurs the confession already alluded to. 
Speaking of the Pittsburgh resolutions of 1792, 
he said : — 

" I might say that those resolutions did not originate 
at Pittsburgh, as they were almost a transcript of the 
resolutions adopted at Washington the preceding year ; 
and I might even add that they were not introduced by 
me at the meeting. But I wish not to exculpate myself 
where I feel I have been to blame. The sentiments 
thus expressed were not illegal or criminal ; yet I will 
freely acknowledge that they were violent, intemperate, 
and reprehensible. For, by attempting to render the 
office contemptible, they tended to diminish that respect 
for the execution of the laws which is essential to the 
maintenance of a free government ; but whilst I feel 
regret at the remembrance, though no hesitation in this 
open confession of that my only political sin, let me add 
that the blame ought to fall where it is deserved." 


This was the first speech of Gallatin that ap- 
peared in print — simple, lucid, convincing. The 
result of the new Assembly election would natu- 
rally determine the right of the representatives of 
the contested district to their seats in Congress. 
Word had gone forth from the Treasury Depart- 
ment that Gallatin must not take his seat in Con- 
gress, and the whippers-in took heed of the desire 
of their chief. A line of instruction to Badollet, 
who lived at Green sburg in Washington County, 
across the river from Gallatin's residence, deter- 
mined the matter. Gallatin warned him against 
the attempt that would be made to disaffect that 
district because none of the representatives whose 
seats had been vacated were residents of it. "Fall 
not into the snare," he wrote; "take up nobody 
from your own district; reelect unanimously the 
same members, whether they be your favorites or 
not. It is necessary for the sake of our general 
character." Here is an instance of that true po- 
litical instinct which made of him "the ideal party 
leader." His advice was followed, and all the 
members were reelected but one, who declined. 
Mr. Gallatin returned to his seat in the Assembly 
on February 14, and retained it until March 12, 
when he asked and obtained leave of absence. He 
does not appear to have taken further part in the 
session. The subjects, personal to himself, which 
occupied his attention during the summer will be 
touched upon elsewhere. 

The pitiful business of the trial of the western 


prisoners needs only brief mention. In May Gal- 
latin was summoned before the grand jury as a wit- 
ness on the part of the government. The inquiry 
was finished May 12, and twenty-two bills were 
found for treason. Against Fayette two bills were 
found ; one for misdemeanor in raising the liberty 
pole in Union town. The petit jury was composed 
of twelve men from each of the counties of Fayette, 
Washington, Allegheny, and Northumberland, but 
none from Westmoreland. One man, a German 
from Westmoreland, who was concerned in a riot 
in Fayette, was found guilty and condemned to 
death. Mr. Gallatin, at the request of the jury, 
drew a petition to the President, who granted a 
pardon. Washington extended mercy to the only 
other offender who incurred the same penalty. 

To the close of this national episode, which, in 
its various phases of incident and character, is of 
dramatic interest, Gallatin, through good repute 
and ill repute, stood manfully by his constituents 
and friends. 



The first session of the fourth Congress began 
at Philadelphia on Monday, December 7, 1795. 
Washington was president, John Adams vice- 
president. No one of Washington's original con- 
stitutional advisers remained in his cabinet. Jef- 
ferson retired from the State Department at the 
beginning of the first session of the third Congress. 
Edmund Randolph, appointed in his place, re- 
signed in a cloud of obloquy on August 19, 1795, 
and the portfolio was temporarily in charge of 
Timothy Pickering, secretary of war. Hamilton 
resigned the department of the Treasury on Janu- 
ary 31, 1795, and Oliver Wolcott, Jr., succeeded 
him in that most important of the early offices of 
the government. General Henry Knox, the first 
secretary of war, pressed by his own private affairs 
and the interests of a large family, withdrew on 
December 28, 1794, and Timothy Pickering, the 
postmaster - general, had been appointed in his 
stead January 2, 1795. The Navy Department 
was not as yet established (the act creating it was 
passed April 30, 1798), but the affairs which con- 
cerned this branch of the public service were under 


the direction of the secretary of war. The admin- 
istration of Washington was drawing to a close. 
In the lately reconstructed cabinet, honest, patri- 
otic, and thorough in administration, there was no 
man of shining mark. The Senate was still in 
the hands of the federal party. The bare major- 
ity which rejected Gallatin in the previous Con- 
gress had increased to a sufficient strength for 
party purposes, but neither in the ranks of the 
administration nor the opposition was there in this 
august assemblage one commanding figure. 

The House was nearly equally divided. The 
post of speaker was warmly contested. Frederick 
A. Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania, who had presided 
over the House at the sessions of the first Con- 
gress, 1789-1791, and again over the third, 1793- 
1795, was the candidate of the Federalists, but 
was defeated by Jonathan Dayton of New Jersey, 
whose views in the last session had drifted him 
into sympathy with the Republican opposition. 
The House, when full, numbered one hundred and 
five members, among whom were the ablest men 
in the country, veterans of debate versed in parlia- 
mentary law and skilled in the niceties of party 
fence. In the Federal ranks, active, conscious of 
their power, and proud of the great party which 
gloried in Washington as their chief, were Robert 
Goodloe Harper of South Carolina, Theodore 
Sedgwick of Massachusetts, Roger Griswold and 
Uriah Tracy of Connecticut, who led the front 
and held the wings of debate; while in reserve, 


broken in health but still in the prime of life, the 
pride of his party, and of the House, was Fisher 
Ames, the orator of his day, whose magic tones 
held friend and foe in rapt attention, while he 
mastered the reason or touched the heart. Upon 
these men the Federal party relied for the vindica- 
tion of their principles and the maintenance of 
their power. Supporting them were William 
Vans Murray of Maryland, Goodrich and Hill- 
house of Connecticut, William Smith of South 
Carolina, Sitgreaves of Pennsylvania, and in the 
ranks a well-trained party. Opposed to this for- 
midable array of Federal talent was the Republi- 
can party, young, vigorous, and in majority, bold 
in their ideas but as yet hesitating in purpose 
under the controlling if not overruling influence 
of the name and popularity of Washington. 

Hamilton watched the shifting fortunes of his 
party from a distance, and found time in the pres- 
sure of a large legal practice to aid each branch 
of administration in turn with his advice. But 
though he still inspired its councils, he no longer 
directed its course. In his Monticello home Jef- 
ferson waited till the fruit was ripe for falling, 
occasionally impatient that his followers did not 
more roughly shake the tree. 

The open rupture of Jefferson with Hamilton 
was the first great break in the Federal adminis- 
tration ; the lukewarmness of Madison, whose 
leanings were always towards Jefferson, followed. 

At the head of the Republican opposition was 


Madison. Wise in council, convincing in argu- 
ment, an able and even adroit debater, lie was an 
admirable leader, but his tactics were rather of 
the closet than the field. He was wanting in the 
personal vigor which, scorning defense, delights 
in bold attack upon the central position of the 
enemy, and carries opposition to the last limit of 
parliamentary aggression. With this mildness of 
character, though recognized as the leader of his 
party, he, as a habit, waived his control upon the 
floor of the House, and, reserving his interference 
for occasions when questions of constitutional in- 
terpretation arose, left the general direction of 
debate to William B. Giles of Virginia, a skillful 
tactician and a ready debater, keen, bold, and 
troubled by no scruples of modesty, respect, or 
reverence for friend or foe. Of equal vigor, but 
of more reserve, was John Nicholas of Virginia — 
a man of strong intellect, reliable temper, and 
with the dignity of the old school. To these were 
now added Albert Gallatin and Edward Living- 
ston. Edward Livingston, from New York, was 
young, and as yet inexperienced in debate, but of 
remarkable powers. He was another example of 
that early intellectual maturity which was a char- 
acteristic of the time. 

When Congress met, the all-disturbing question 
was the foreign policy of the United States. The 
influence of the French Revolution upon American 
politics was great. The Federalists, conservative 
in their views, held the new democratic doctrines 


in abhorrence, and used the terrible excesses of 
the French Revolution with telling force against 
their Republican adversaries. The need of a strong 
government was held up as the only alternative 
to anarchy. In the struggle which now united 
Europe against the French republic, the sympa- 
thies of the Federalists were with England. Hence 
they were accused of a desire to establish a mon- 
archy in the United States, and were ignominiously 
called the British party. Shays's Rebellion in 
Massachusetts and the Whiskey Insurrection in 
Pennsylvania gave point to their arguments. 

On the other side was the large and powerful 
party which, throughout the war in the Continental 
Congress, under the confederation in the national 
convention which framed and in the state conven- 
tions which ratified the Constitution, had opposed 
the tendency to centralization, but had been de- 
feated by the yearning of the body of the plain 
people for a government strong enough at least to 
secure them peace at home and protection abroad. 
This natural craving being satisfied, the old aver- 
sion to class distinctions returned. The dread of 
an aristocracy, which did not exist even in name, 
threw many of the supporters of the Constitution 
into the ranks of its opponents, who were demo- 
crats in name and in fact. The proclamation of 
the rights of man awoke this latent sentiment, and 
aroused an intense sympathy for the people of 
France. This again was strengthened by the 
memory, still warm, of the services of France in 


the cause of independence. Lafayette, who repre- 
sented the true French republican spirit, and held 
a place in the affections of the American people 
second only to that of Washington, was languish- 
ing, a prisoner to the coalition of sovereigns, in 
an Austrian dungeon. 

Jefferson returned from France deeply imbued 
with the spirit of the French Revolution. His 
views were warmly received by his political friends, 
and the principles of the new school of politics 
were rapidly spread by an eager band of acolytes, 
whose ranks were recruited until the feeble oppo- 
sition became a powerful party. Democratic so- 
cieties, organized on the plan of the French Jaco- 
bin clubs, extended French influence, and no doubt 
were aided in a practical way by Genet, whose 
recent marriage with the daughter of George Clin- 
ton, the head of the Republican party in New 
York, was an additional link in the bond of alli- 

During the second session of the third Congress 
Madison had led the opposition in a mild manner; 
party lines were not yet strongly defined, and the 
influence of Washington was paramount. In the 
interim between its expiration and the meeting of 
the fourth Congress in December, the country was 
wildly agitated by the Jay treaty. This document 
not reaching America until after the adjournment 
of Congress in March, Washington convened the 
Senate in extra and secret session on June 1, 
and the treaty was ratified by barely two thirds 


majority. Imprudently withheld for a time, it was 
at last made public by Senator Mason of Virginia, 
one of the ten who voted against its ratification. 
It disappointed the people, and was denounced as 
a weak and ignominious surrender of American 
rights. The merchants of Boston, New York, 
Philadelphia, and Charleston protested against it 
in public meetings. It was burned, and the Eng- 
lish flag was trailed in the dust before the British 
minister's house at the capital. Jay was hung 
in effigy, and Hamilton, who ventured to defend 
the treaty at a public meeting, was stoned. To 
add to the popular indignation that the impress- 
ment of American seamen had been ignored in the 
instrument, came the alarming news that the Brit- 
ish ministry had renewed their order to seize ves- 
sels carrying provisions to France, whither a large 
part of the American grain crop was destined. 
On the other hand, Randolph, the secretary of 
state, had compromised the dignity of his official 
position in his intercourse with Fauchet, the late 
French ambassador, whose correspondence with 
his government, thrown overboard from a French 
packet, had been fished up by a British man-of- 
war, and forwarded to Grenville, by whom it was 
returned to America. Thus petard answered pe- 
tard, and the charge by the Republicans upon the 
Federalists of taking British gold was returned 
with interest, and the accusation of receiving bribe 
money was brought close home to Randolph, if 
not proved. 


Hard names were not wanting either; Jefferson 
was ridiculed as a sans-culotte and red-legged 
Democrat. Nor was Washington spared. He was 
charged with an assumption of royal airs, with 
political hypocrisy, and even with being a public 
defaulter ; a charge which no one dared to father, 
and which was instantly shown to be false and 
malicious. It was made by Bache in "The Au- 
rora," a contemptible sheet after the fashion of 
"L'Ami du Peuple," Marat's Paris organ. 

Such was the temper of the people when the 
House of Representatives met on December 7, 
1795. The speaker, Dayton, was strongly anti- 
British in feeling. He was a family connection 
of Burr, but there is no reason to suppose that he 
was under the personal influence of that adroit 
and unscrupulous partisan. On the 8th President 
Washington, according to his custom, addressed 
both houses of Congress. This day for the first 
time the gallery was thrown open to the public. 
When the reply of the Senate came up for con- 
sideration, the purpose of the Republicans was 
at once manifest. They would not consent to 
the approbation it expressed of the conduct of the 
administration. They would not admit that the 
causes of external discord had been extinguished 
"on terms consistent with our national honor and 
safety," or indeed extinguished at all, and they 
would, not acknowledge that the efforts of the 
President to establish the peace, freedom, and 
prosperity of the country had been "enlightened 


and firm." Nevertheless the address was agreed 
to by a vote of 14 to 8. 

In the House a resolution was moved that a 
respectful address ought to be presented. The 
opposition immediately declared itself. Objection 
was made to an address, and in its stead the ap- 
pointment of a committee to wait personally on 
the President was moved. The covert intent was 
apparent through the thin veil of expediency, 
but the Republicans as a body were unwilling to 
go this length in discourtesy, and did not support 
the motion. Only eighteen members voted for it. 
Messrs. Madison, Sedgwick, and Sitgreaves, the 
committee to report an address, brought in a draft 
on the 14th which was ordered to be printed for 
the use of the members. The next day the work 
of dissection was begun by an objection to the 
words "probably unequaled spectacle of national 
happiness" applied to the country, and the words 
"undiminished confidence" applied to the Presi- 
dent. The words "probably unequaled" were 
stricken out without decided opposition by a vote 
of forty-three to thirty-nine. Opinions were di- 
vided on that subject even in the ranks of the 
Federalists. The cause of dissatisfaction was the 
Jay treaty. The address was recommitted with- 
out a division. The next day Madison brought 
in the address with a modification of the clause 
objected to. In its new form the "very great 
share " of Washington's zealous and faithful ser- 
vices in securing the national happiness was ac- 


knowledged. The address thus amended was unan- 
imously adopted. In this encounter nothing was 
gained by the Republicans. The people would 
not have endured an open declaration of want of 
confidence in Washington. But the entering wedge 
of the new policy was driven. The treaty was to 
be assailed. It was, however, the pretext, not the 
cause of the struggle, the real object of which was 
to extend the powers of the House, and subordi- 
nate the executive to its will. Before beginning 
the main attack the Republicans developed their 
general plan in their treatment of secondary issues; 
of these the principal was a tightening of the con- 
trol of the House over the Treasury Department. 

In this Mr. Gallatin took the lead. His first 
measure was the appointment of a standing Com- 
mittee of Finance to superintend the general oper- 
ations of this nature, — an efficient aid to the 
Treasury when there is accord between the admin- 
istration and the House, an annoying censor when 
the latter is in opposition. This was the beginning 
of the Ways and Means Committee, which soon 
became and has since continued to be the most 
important committee of the House. To it were 
to be referred all reports from the Treasury De- 
partment, all propositions relating to revenue, and 
it was to report on the state of the public debt, 
revenue, and expenditures. The committee was 
appointed without opposition. It consisted of four- 
teen members, William Smith, Sedgwick, Madi- 
son, Baldwin, Gallatin, Bourne, Gilnian, Murray, 


Buck, Gilbert, Isaac Smith, Blount, Patten, and 
Hillhouse, and represented the strength of both 
political parties. To this committee the estimates 
of appropriations for the support of the govern- 
ment for the coming year were referred. The 
next step was to bring to the knowledge of the 
House the precise condition of the Treasury. To 
this end the secretary was called upon to furnish 
comparative views of the commerce and tonnage 
of the country for every year from the formation 
of the department in 1789, with tables of the ex- 
ports and imports, foreign and domestic, separately 
stated, and with a division of the nationality of 
the carrying vessels. Later, comparative views 
were demanded of the receipts and expenditures 
for each year; the receipts under the heads of 
Loans, Revenue in its various forms, and others 
in their several divisions ; the expenditures, also, 
to be classified under the heads of Civil List, For- 
eign Intercourse, Military Establishment, Indian 
Department, Naval, etc. Finally a call was made 
for a statement of the annual appropriations and 
the applications of them by the Treasury. The 
object of Mr. Gallatin was to establish the ex- 
penses of the government in each department of 
service on a permanent footing for which annual 
appropriations should be made, and for any ex- 
traordinary expenditure to insist on a special appro- 
priation for the stated object and none other. By 
keeping constantly before the House this distinc- 
tion between the permanent fund and temporary 


exigencies, he accustomed it to take a practical 
business view of its legislative duties, and the 
people to understand the principles he endeavored 
to apply. 

In a debate at the beginning of the session, on 
a bill for establishing trading houses with the In- 
dians, Mr. Gallatin showed his hand by declaring 
that he would not consent to appropriate any part 
of the war funds for the scheme ; nor, in view of 
the need of additional permanent funds for the 
discharge of the public debt, would he vote for 
the bill at all, unless there was to be a reduction 
in the expense of the military establishment ; and 
he would not be diverted from his purpose although 
Mr. Madison advocated the bill because of its ex- 
tremely benevolent object. The Federal leaders 
saw clearly to what this doctrine would bring 
them, and met it in the beginning. The first 
struggle occurred when the appropriations for the 
service of 1796 were brought before the House. 
Beginning with a discussion upon the salaries of 
the officers of the mint, the debate at once passed 
to the principle of appropriations. The Federal- 
ists insisted that a discussion of the merits of 
establishments was not in order when the appropri- 
ations were under consideration; that the House 
ought not, by withholding appropriations, to de- 
stroy establishments formed by the whole legisla- 
ture, that is, by the Senate and House ; that the 
House should vote for the appropriations agreeably 
to the laws already made. This view was sane- 


tioned by practice. Mr. Gallatin immediately 
opposed this as an alarming and dangerous princi- 
ple. He insisted that there was a certain discre- 
tionary power in the House to appropriate or not 
to appropriate for any object whatever, whether 
that object were authorized or not. It was a 
power vested in the House for the purpose of 
checking the other branches of government when- 
ever necessary. He claimed that this power was 
shown in the making of yearly instead of perma- 
nent appropriations for the civil list and military 
establishments, yet when the House desired to 
strengthen public credit it had rendered the appro- 
priation for those objects permanent and not yearly. 
It was, therefore, "contradictory to suppose that 
the House was bound to do a certain act at the 
same time that they were exercising the discretion- 
ary power of voting upon it." The debate deter- 
mined nothing, but it is of interest as the first 
declaration in Congress of the supremacy of the 
House of Representatives. 

The great debate which, from the principles in- 
volved in it as well as the argument and oratory 
with which they were discussed, made this session 
of the House famous, was on the treaty with Great 
Britain. This was the first foreign treaty made 
since the establishment of the Constitution. The 
treaty was sent in to the House u for the informa- 
tion of Congress," by the President, on March 1, 
with notice of its ratification at London in Octo- 
ber. The next day Mr. Edward Livingston moved 


that the President be requested to send in a copy 
of the instructions to the minister of the United 
States who negotiated the treaty, together with 
the correspondence and other documents. A few 
days later he amended his resolution by adding an 
exception of such of said papers as any existing 
negotiations rendered improper to disclose. The 
Senate in its ratification of the treaty suspended the 
operation of the clause regulating the trade with 
the West Indies, on which Great Britain still 
imposed the old colonial restriction, and recom- 
mended the President to open negotiations on this 
subject; and in fact such negotiations were in 
progress. The discussion was opened on the Fed- 
eral side by a request to the gentlemen in favor of 
the call to give their reasons. Mr. Gallatin sup- 
ported the resolution, and expressed surprise at 
any objection, considering that the exception of 
the mover rendered the resolution of itself unex- 
ceptionable. The President had not informed the 
House of the reasons upon which the treaty was 
based. If he did not think proper to give the 
information sought for, he would say so to them. 
A question might arise whether the House should 
get at those secrets even if the President refused 
the request, but that was not the present question. 
In reply to Mr. Murray, who asserted that the 
treaty was the supreme law of the land, and that 
there was no discretionary power in the House 
except on the question of its constitutionality, Mr. 
Gallatin said that Congress possessed the power 


of regulating trade, — perhaps the treaty-making 
power clashed with that, — and concluded by ob- 
serving that the House was the grand inquest of 
the nation, and that it had the right to call for 
papers on which to ground an impeachment. At 
present he did not contemplate an exercise of 
that right. Mr. Madison said it was now to be 
decided whether the general power of making trea- 
ties supersedes the powers of the House of Repre- 
sentatives, particularly specified in the Constitu- 
tion, so as to give to the executive all deliberative 
will and leave the House only an executive and 
ministerial instrumental agency; and he proposed 
to amend the resolution so as to read, "except so 
much of said papers as in his (the President's) 
judgment it may be inconsistent with the interest 
of the United States at this time to disclose." 
But his motion was defeated by a vote of 47 nays 
to 37 yeas. 

The discussion being resumed in committee of 
the whole, the expressions of opinion were free on 
both sides, but so moderate that one of the mem- 
bers made comment on the calmness and temper 
of the discussion. Nicholas said that, if the treaty 
were not the law of the land, the President should 
be impeached. But the parts of the treaty into 
which the President had not the right to enter, he 
could not make law by proclamation. Swanwick 
supported the call as one exercised by the House 
of Commons. On the Federal side, Harper said 
that the papers were not necessary, and, being 


unnecessary, the demand was an improper and 
unconstitutional interference with the executive 
department. If he thought them necessary, he 
would change the milk and water style of the reso- 
lutions. In that case the House had a right to 
them and he had no idea of requesting as a favor 
what should be demanded as a right. Gallatin, 
he said, had declared that it was a request, but 
that in case of refusal it might be considered 
whether demand should not be made, and he charged 
that when, at the time the motion was made, the 
question had been asked, what use was to be made 
of the papers, Gallatin did not and could not reply. 
Mr. Gallatin answered that whether the House 
had a discretionary power, or whether it was bound 
by the instrument, there was no impropriety in 
calling for the papers. He hoped to have avoided 
the constitutional question in the motion, but as 
the gentlemen had come forward on that ground, 
he had no objection to rest the decision of the 
constitutional power of Congress on the fate of 
the present question. He would therefore state 
that the House had a right to ask for the papers. 

The constitutional question being thus squarely 
introduced, Mr. Gallatin made an elaborate speech, 
which, from its conciseness in statement, strength 
of argument, and wealth of citations of authority, 
was, to say the least, inferior to no other of those 
drawn out in this memorable struggle. In its 
course he compared the opinion of those who had 
opposed the resolution to the saying of an English 


bishop, that the people had nothing to do with the 
law but to obey it, and likened their conduct to 
the servile obedience of a Parliament of Paris 
under the old order of things. He concluded with 
the hope that the dangerous doctrine, that the 
representatives of the people have not the right 
to consult their discretion when about exercising 
powers delegated by the Constitution, would re' 
ceive its death-blow. Griswold replied in what 
by common consent was the strongest argument 
on the Federal side. The call, at first view sim- 
ple, had, he said, become a grave matter. The 
gist of his objection to it was that the people in 
their Constitution had made the treaty power para- 
mount to the legislative, and had deposited that 
power with the President and Senate. 

Mr. Madison once more rose to the constitu- 
tional question. He said that, if the passages of 
the Constitution be taken literally, they must clash. 
The word supreme, as applied to treaties, meant 
as over the state Constitutions, and not over the 
Constitution and laws of the United States. He 
supported Mr. Gallatin's view of the congressional 
power as cooperative with the treaty power. A 
construction which made the treaty power omnipo- 
tent he thought utterly inadmissible in a consti- 
tution marked throughout with limitations and 

Mr. Gallatin again claimed the attention of the 
House, as the original question of a call for papers 
had resolved itself into a discussion on the treaty- 


making power. In the treaty of peace of 1783 
there were three articles which might be supposed 
to interfere with the legislative powers of the 
several States : 1st, that which related to the pay- 
ment of debts; 2d, the provision for no future 
confiscations; 3d, the restitution of estates al- 
ready confiscated. The first could not be denied. 
"Those," he said, "might be branded with the 
epithet of disorganizers, who threatened a dissolu- 
tion of the Union in case the measures they dic- 
tated were not obeyed ; and he knew, although he 
did not ascribe it to any member of the House, 
that men high in office and reputation had indus- 
triously spread an alarm that the Union would be 
dissolved if the present motion was carried." He 
took the ground that a treaty is not valid, and 
does not bind the nation as such, till it has re- 
ceived the sanction of the House of Representa- 
tives. Mr. Harper closed the argument on the 
Federal side. On March 24 the resolution calling 
for the papers was carried by a vote of yeas 62, 
nays 37, absent 5, the speaker 1 (105). Living- 
ston and Gallatin were appointed to present the 
request to the President. 

On March 30 the President returned answer to 
the effect that he considered it a dangerous prece- 
dent to admit this right in the House; that the 
assent of the House was not necessary to the va- 
lidity of a treaty; and he absolutely refused com- 
pliance with the request. The letter of instruc- 
tions to Jay would bear the closest examination, 


but the cabinet scorned to take shelter behind it, 
and it was on their recommendation that the Presi- 
dent's refusal was explicit. This message, in 
spite of the opposition of the Federalists, was 
referred, by a vote of 55 yeas to 37 nays, to the 
committee of the whole. This reference involved 
debate. In his opposition to this motion, Mr. 
Harper said that the motives of the friends of the 
resolution had been avowed by the "gentleman 
who led the business, from Pennsylvania; " whereby 
it appears that Mr. Gallatin led the Republicans 
in the first debate. During this his first session 
he shared this distinction with Mr. Madison. At 
the next he became the acknowledged leader of 
the Republican party. 

On April 3 the debate was resumed. This 
second debate was led by Mr. Madison, who con- 
sidered two points : 1st, the application for papers ; 
2d, the constitutional rights of Congress. His 
argument was of course calm and dispassionate 
after his usual manner. The contest ended on 
April 7, with the adoption of two resolutions: 1st, 
that the power of making treaties is exclusively 
with the President and Senate, and the House do 
not claim an agency in making them, or ratifying 
them when made; 2d, that when made a treaty 
must depend for the execution of its stipulations 
on a law or laws to be passed by Congress; and 
the House have a right to deliberate and deter- 
mine the expediency or inexpediency of carrying 
treaties into effect. These resolutions were carried 
by a vote of 63 to 27. 


There was now a truce of a few days. In the 
meanwhile the country was agitated to an extent 
which, if words mean anything, really threatened 
an attempt at dissolution of the Union, if not civil 
war itself. The objections on the part of the Re- 
publicans were to the treaty as a whole. Their 
sympathies were with Trance in her struggle for 
liberty and democratic institutions and against 
England, and their real and proper ground of 
antipathy to the instrument lay in its concession 
of the right of capture of French property in 
American vessels, whilst the treaty with France 
forbade her to seize British property in American 
vessels. The objections in detail had been formu- 
lated at the Boston public meeting the year before. 
The commercial cities were disturbed by the inter- 
ference with the carrying trade ; the entire coast, 
by the search of vessels and the impressment of 
seamen; the agricultural regions, by the closing 
of the outlet for their surplus product ; the upland 
districts, by the stoppage of the export of timber. 
But the country was without a navy, was ill pre- 
pared for war, and the security of the frontier was 
involved in the restoration of the posts still held 
by the British. 

The political situation was uncertain if not ab- 
solutely menacing. The threats of disunion were 
by no means vague. The Pendleton Society in 
Virginia had passed secession resolutions, and 
a similar disposition appeared in other States. 
While the treaty was condemned in the United 


States, British statesmen were not of one opinion 
as to the advantages they had gained by Gren- 
ville's diplomacy. Jay's desire, expressed to Ran- 
dolph, "to manage so that in case of wars our 
people should be united and those of England di- 
vided," was not wholly disappointed. And there 
is on record the expression of Lord Sheffield, when 
he heard of the rupture in 1812, "We have now 
a complete opportunity of getting rid of that most 
impolitic treaty of 1794, when Lord Grenville 
was so perfectly duped by Jay." 1 Washington's 
ratification of the treaty went far to correct the 
hasty judgment of the people, and to reconcile 
them to it as a choice of evils. Supported by this 
modified tone of public opinion, the Federalists 
determined to press the necessary appropriation 
bills for carrying the treaties into effect. Besides 
the Jay treaty there were also before the House 
the Wayne treaty with the Indians, the Pinckney 
treaty with Spain, and the treaty with Algiers. 
With these three the House was entirely content, 
and the country was impatient for their immediate 
operation. Wayne's treaty satisfied the inhabi- 
tants on the frontier. The settlers along the Ohio, 
among whom was Gallatin's constituency, were 
eager to avail themselves of the privileges granted 
by that of Pinckney, which was a triumph of di- 
plomacy; and all America, while ready to beard 
the British lion, seems to have been in terror of 

1 Lord Sheffield to Mr. Abbott, November 0, 1812. Corre* 
tpondence of Lord Colchester, ii. 40U. 


the Dey of Algiers. Mr. Sedgwick offered a 
resolution providing for the execution of the four 
treaties. Mr. Gallatin insisted on and received 
a separate consideration of each. That with Great 
Britain was reserved till the rest were disposed 
of. It was taken up on April 14. Mr. Madison 
opened the debate. He objected to the treaty as 
wanting in real reciprocity; 2d, in insufficiency of 
its provisions as to the rights of neutrals ; 3d, be- 
cause of its commercial restrictions. Other Re- 
publican leaders followed, making strong points 
of the position in which the treaty placed the 
United States with regard to France, to whom it 
was bound by a treaty of commercial alliance, 
which was a part of the contract of aid in the 
Revolutionary War; and also of the possible in- 
justice which would befall American claimants in 
the British courts of admiralty. 

The Federalists clung to their ground, defended 
the treaty as the best attainable, and held up as 
the alternative a war, for which the refusal of the 
Republicans to support the military establishment 
and build up a navy left the country unprepared. 
In justice to Jay, his significant words to Ran- 
dolph, while doubtful of success in his negotiation, 
should be remembered: "Let us hope for the best 
and prepare for the worst." To the red flag which 
the Federalists held up, Mr. Gallatin replied, ac- 
cepting the consequences of war if it should come, 
and gave voice to the extreme dissatisfaction of 
the Virginia radicals with Jay and the negotiation. 


He charged that the cry of war and threats of a 
dissolution of the government were designed for 
an impression on the timidity of the House. "It 
was through the fear of being involved in a war 
that the negotiation with Great Britain had origi- 
nated ; under the impression of fear the treaty had 
been negotiated and signed; a fear of the same 
danger, that of war, had promoted its ratification ; 
and now every imaginary mischief which could 
alarm our fears was conjured up in order to de- 
prive us of that discretion which this House thought 
they had a right to exercise, and in order to force 
us to carry the treaty into effect." He insisted 
on the important principle that ' free ships make 
free goods,' and complained of its abandonment 
by the negotiators. 

In a reply to this attack upon Jay, whose whole 
life was a refutation of the charge of personal or 
moral timidity, Mr. Tracy passed the limits of 
parliamentary courtesy. "The people," he said, 
"where he was most acquainted, whatever might 
be the character of other parts of the Union, were 
riot of the stamp to cry hosannah to-day and cru- 
cify to-morrow; they will not dance around a 
whiskey pole to-day and curse their government, 
and upon hearing of a military force sneak into 
a swamp. No," said he, "my immediate constitu- 
ents, whom I very well know, understand their 
rights and will defend them, and if they find the 
government will not protect them, they will at- 
tempt at least to protect themselves; ' and he con- 


eluded, "I cannot be thankful to that gentleman 
for coining all the way from Geneva to give Ameri- 
cans a character for pusillanimity." He held it 
madness to suppose that if the treaty were defeated 
war could be avoided. Called to order, he said 
that he might have been too personal, and asked 
pardon of the gentleman and of the House. 

The brilliant crown of the debate was the im- 
passioned speech of Fisher Ames, the impression 
of which upon the House and the crowded gallery 
is one of the traditions of American oratory. The 
scene, as it has been handed down to us, resembles, 
in all save its close, that which Parliament presented 
when Chatham made his last and dying appeal. 
Like the great earl, Ames rose pale and trembling 
from illness to address a House angry and divided. 
Defending himself and the Federal party against 
the charge of being in English interest, he said, 
"Britain has no influence, and can have none. 
She has enough — and God forbid she ever should 
have more. France, possessed of popular enthu- 
siasm, of party attachments, has had and still has 
too much influence on our politics, — any foreign 
influence is too much and ought to be destroyed. 
I detest the man and disdain the spirit that can 
ever bend to a mean subserviency to the views of 
any nation. It is enough to be American. That 
character comprehends our duties and ought to 
engross our attachments." Considering the prob- 
able influence on the Indian tribes of the rejection 
of the treaty, he said, u By rejecting the Posts we 


light the savage fires, we bind the victims. . . . 
I can fancy that I listen to the yells of savage 
vengeance and shrieks of torture. Already they 
seem to sigh in the west wind, — already they 
mingle with every echo from the mountains. " 
His closing words again bring Chatham to mind. 
"Yet I have perhaps as little personal interest in 
the event as any one here. There is, I believe, 
no member who will not think his chance to be 
a witness of the consequences greater than mine. 
If, however, the vote should pass to reject, and 
a spirit should rise, as rise it will, with the public 
disorders to make confusion worse confounded, 
even I, slender and almost broken as my hold 
upon life is, may outlive the government and Con- 
stitution of my country.' 1 This appeal, supported 
by the petitions and letters which poured in upon 
the House, left no doubt of the result. An ad- 
journment was carried, but the speech was deci- 
sive. The next day, April 29, it was resolved to 
be expedient to make the necessary appropriations 
to carry the treaty into effect. The vote stood 49 
ayes to 49 aays, and was decided in the affirmative 
by Muhlenberg, who was in the chair. But the 
House would not be satisfied without an expres- 
sion of condemnation of the instrument. On April 
30 it was resolved that in the opinion of the House 
the treaty was objectionable. 

While Mr. Gallatin in this debate rose to the 
highest rank of statesmanship, he showed an equal 
mastery of other important subjects which engaged 


the attention of the House during the session. 
He was earnest for the protection of the frontier, 
but had no good opinion of the Indians. "Twelve 
years had passed," he said, "since the peace of 
1783; ever since that time he had lived on the 
frontier of Pennsylvania. Not a year of this pe- 
riod had passed, whether at war or peace, that some 
murders had not been committed by the Indians, 
and yet not an act of invasion or provocation by 
the inhabitants." In the matter of impressment 
of American seamen, he urged the lodging of 
sufficient power in the executive. Men had been 
impressed, and he held it to be the duty of the 
House to take notice of it by war or negotiation. 
In the establishment of land offices for the sale of 
the western lands he brought to bear upon legisla- 
tion his practical experience. He urged that the 
tracts for sale be divided, and distinctions be made 
between large purchasers and actual settlers — 
proposing that the large tracts be sold at the seat 
of government, and the small on the territory it- 
self. He instanced the fact that in 1792 all the 
land west of the Ohio was disposed of at Is. 6d. 
the acre, and a week afterwards was resold at 
$1.50, so that the money which should have gone 
into the treasury went to the pockets of specula- 
tors. He also suggested that the proceeds of the 
sales should be a fund to pay the public debt, and 
that the public stock should always be received at 
its value in payment for land; a plan by which 
the land would be brought directly to the payment 


of the debt, as foreigners would gladly exchange 
the money obligations of the government for land. 
On the question of taxation he declared himself in 
favor of direct taxes, and held that a tax on houses 
and lands could be levied without difficulty. He 
would satisfy the people that it was to pay off the 
public debt, which he held to be a public curse. 
He supported the excise duty on stills under regu- 
lations which would avoid the watching of persons 
and houses and inspection by officers, and proposed 
that licenses be granted for the time applied for. 

The military establishment he opposed in every 
way, attacked the principle on which it was based, 
and fought every appropriation in detail, from 
the pay of a major-general to the cost of uniforms 
for the private soldiers. He was not afraid of the 
army, he said, but did not think that it was neces- 
sary for the support of the government or danger- 
ous to the liberties of the people ; moreover, it cost 
six hundred thousand dollars a year, which was 
a sum of consequence in the condition of the 

The navy found no more favor in his eyes. He 
denied that fleets were necessary to protect com- 
merce. He challenged its friends to show, from 
the history of any nation in Europe as from our 
own, that commerce and the navy had gone hand 
in hand. There was no nation except Great Brit- 
ain, he said, whose navy had any connection with 
commerce. Navies were instruments of power 
more calculated to annoy the trade of other nations 


than to protect that of the nations to which they 
belonged. The price England had paid for her 
navy was a debt of three hundred millions of 
pounds sterling. He opposed appropriations even 
for the three frigates, United States, Constitution, 
and Constellation, — the construction of which had 
been ordered, — the germs of that navy which was 
later to set his theory at naught, redeem the honor 
of the flag, protect our commerce, and release the 
country and the civilized world from ignominious 
tribute to the Mediterranean pirates, who were 
propitiated in this very session only at the cost of 
a million of dollars to the Treasury of the United 
States, and by the gift of a frigate. 

In the debate over the payment of the sum of 
five millions, which the United States Bank had 
demanded from the government, the greatest part 
of which had been advanced on account of appro- 
priations, he lamented the necessity, but urged 
the liquidation. This was the occasion of another 
personal encounter. In reply to a charge of Gal- 
latin that the Federalists were in favor of debt, 
Sedgwick alluded to Gallatin's part in the Whis- 
key Insurrection, and said that none of those 
gentlemen whom Gallatin had charged with "an 
object to perpetuate and increase the public debt " 
had been known to have combined u in every mea- 
sure which might obstruct the operation of law," 
nor had declared to the world "that the men who 
would accept of the offices to perform the neces- 
sary functions of government were lost to every 


sense of virtue; " "that from them was to be with- 
held every comfort of life which depended on those 
duties which as men and fellow-citizens we owe 
to each other. If," he said, "the gentlemen had 
been guilty of such nefarious practices, there 
would have been a sound foundation for the charge 
brought against them." Gallatin made no reply. 
This was the one political sin he had acknowledged. 
His silence was his expiation. 

The Treasury Department and its control, past 
and present, was the object of his unceasing criti- 
cism. In April, 1796, he said, "The situation 
of the gentleman at the head of the department 
[Wolcott] was doubtless delicate and unpleasant; 
it was the more so when compared with that of 
his predecessor [Hamilton]. Both indeed had the 
same power to borrow money when necessary; but 
that power, which was efficient in the hands of the 
late secretary and liberally enough used by him, 
was become useless at present. He wished the 
present secretary to be extricated from his present 
difficulty. Nothing could be more painful than to 
be at the head of that department with an empty 
treasury, a revenue inadequate to the expenses, and 
no means to borrow." Nevertheless he feared that 
if it were declared that the payment of the debt 
incurred by themselves were to be postponed till 
the present generation were over, it might well be 
expected that the principle thus adopted by them 
would be cherished, that succeeding legislatures 
and administrations would follow in their steps, 


and that they were laying the foundations of that 
national curse, — a growing and perpetual debt. 

On the last day of the session W. Smith had 
challenged the correctness of Gallatin's charge 
that there had been an increase of the public debt 
by five millions under the present administration, 
and claimed that there were errors in Gallatin's 
statement of more than four and a half millions. 
Gallatin defended his figures. At this day it is 
impossible to determine the merits of this dispute. 

One incident of this session deserves mention as 
showing the distaste of Gallatin for anything like 
personal compliment, stimulated in this instance, 
perhaps, by his sense of Washington's dislike to 
himself. It had been the habit of the House since 
the commencement of the government to adjourn 
for a time on February 22, Washington's birth- 
day, that members might pay their respects to the 
President. When the motion was made that the 
House adjourn for half an hour, the Republicans 
objected, and Gallatin, nothing loath to "bell the 
cat," moved that the words "half an hour" be 
struck out. His amendment was lost without a 
division. The motion to adjourn was then put 
and lost by a vote of 50 nays to 38 ayes. The 
House waited on the President at the close of the 
business of the day. On June 1 closed this long 
and memorable session, in which the assaults of 
the Republicans upon the administration were so 
persistent and embarrassing as to justify Wol- 
cott's private note to Hamilton, April 29, 1796, 


that "unless a radical change of opinion can be 
effected in the Southern States, the existing estab- 
lishments will not last eighteen months. The in- 
fluence of Messrs. Gallatin, Madison, and Jeffer- 
son must be diminished, or the public affairs will 
be brought to a stand." Here is found an early 
recognition of the political "triumvirate," and 
Gallatin is the first named. 

Gallatin seems to have had some doubts as to 
his reelection to Congress. As he did not reside 
in the Washington and Allegheny district, his 
name was not mentioned as a candidate, and, to 
use his own words, he expected to "be gently 
dropped without the parade of a resignation." In 
his distaste at separation from his wife, the desire 
to abandon public life grew upon him. But per- 
sonal abuse of him in the newspapers exasperating 
his friends, he was taken up again in October, 
and he arrived on the scene, he says, too late to 
prevent it. He had no hope, however, of success, 
and was resolved to resign a seat to which he was 
in every way indifferent. " Ambition, love of 
power," he wrote to his wife on October 16, he 
had never felt, and he added, if vanity ever made 
one of the ingredients which impelled him to take 
an active part in public life, it had for many years 
altogether vanished away. He was nevertheless 
reelected by the district he had represented. 

The second session of the fourth Congress began 
on December 5, 1796. At the beginning of this 


session Mr. Gallatin took the reins of the Repub- 
lican party, and held them till its close. The 
position of the Federalists had been strengthened 
before the country by the energy of Washington, 
who, impatient of the delays which Great Britain 
opposed to the evacuation of the posts, marched 
troops to the frontier and obtained their surrender. 
Adet, the new French minister, had dashed the 
feeling of attachment for France by his impudent 
notice to the President that the dissatisfaction of 
France would last until the executive of the United 
States should return to sentiments and measures 
more conformable to the interests and friendships 
of the two nations. In September Washington 
issued his Farewell Address, in which he gave 
the famous warning against foreign complications, 
which, approved by the country, has since re- 
mained its policy; but neither the prospect of his 
final withdrawal from the political and official 
field, nor the advice of Jefferson to moderate their 
zeal, availed to calm the bitterness of the ultra 
Republicans in the House. 

The struggle over the answer to the President's 
message, which Fisher Ames on this occasion re- 
ported, was again renewed. An effort was made 
to strike out the passages complimentary to Wash- 
ington and expressing regret at his approaching 
retirement. Giles, who made the motion, went 
so far as to say that he 'wished him to retire, and 
that this was the moment for his retirement, that 
the government could do very well without him, 


and that he would enjoy more happiness in his 
retirement than he possibly could in his present 
situation. ' For his part he did not consider Wash- 
ington's administration either "wise or firm," as 
the address said. Gallatin made a distinction be- 
tween the administration and the legislature, and 
in lieu of the words, wise, firm, and patriotic ad- 
ministration, proposed to address the compliment 
directly to the wisdom, firmness, and patriotism of 
Washington. But Ames defended his report, and 
it was adopted by a vote of 67 to 12. Gallatin 
voted with the majority, but Livingston, Giles, and 
Macon held out with the small band of disaffected, 
among whom it is amusing also to find Andrew 
Jackson, who took his seat at this Congress to re- 
present Tennessee, which had been admitted as a 
State at the last session. 1 

The indebtedness of the States to the general 
government, in the old balance sheet, on the pay- 
ment of which Gallatin insisted, was a subject of 
difference between the Senate and the House. 
Gallatin was appointed chairman of the committee 
of conference on the part of the House. The re- 
duction of the military establishment, which he 
wished to bring down to the footing of 1792, was 
again insisted upon. Gallatin here ingeniously 

1 Gallatin later described Jackson as he first saw him in his seat 
in the House: "A tall, lank, uncouth looking- individual, with 
long- locks of hair hanging over his brows and face, while a queue 
hung down his back tied in an eelskin. The dress of this indi- 
vidual was singular, his manners and deportment that of a back- 
woodsman." Bartlett's Reminiscences of Gallatin. 


argued against the necessity for the number of men 
proposed, that it was a mere matter of opinion, 
and if it was a matter of opinion, it was not strictly- 
necessary, because if necessary it was no longer a 
matter of opinion. Naval appropriations were also 
opposed, on the ground that a navy was prejudicial 
to commerce. Taxation, direct and indirect, and 
compensation to public officers were also subjects 
of debate at this session. On the subject of appro- 
priations, general or special, he was uncompromis- 
ing. He charged upon the Treasury Department 
that notwithstanding the distribution of the ap- 
propriations they thought themselves at liberty to 
take money from an item where there was a sur- 
plus and apply it to another where it was wanted. 
To check such irregularity, he secured the passage 
of a resolution ordering that "the several sums 
shall be solely applied to the objects for which they 
are respectively appropriated," and tacked it to the 
appropriation bill. The Senate added an amend- 
ment removing the restriction, but Gallatin and 
Nicholas insisting on its retention, the House sup- 
ported them by a vote of 52 to 36, and the Senate 

Notwithstanding the apparent enthusiasm of the 
House in the early part of the session, when the 
tricolor of France, a present from the French gov- 
ernment to the United States, was sent by Wash- 
ington to Congress, to be deposited with the ar- 
chives of the nation, French influence was on the 
wane. The common sense of the country got the 


better of its passion. In the reaction the Feder- 
alists regained the popular favor for a season. 

Whatever latent sympathy the French people 
may have had for America as the nation which set 
the example of resistance to arbitrary rule, the 
French government certainly was moved by no 
enthusiasm for abstract rights. Its only object 
was to check the power of their ancient enemy, and 
deprive it of its empire beyond the seas. Never- 
theless, France did contribute materially to Ameri- 
can success. The American government and peo- 
ple acknowledged the value of her assistance, and, 
in spite of the prejudices of race, there was a 
strong bond of sympathy between the two nations ; 
and when, in her turn, France, in 1789, threw off 
the feudal yoke, she expected and she received the 
sympathy of America. Beyond this the govern- 
ment and the people of the United States could 
not and would not go. The position of France in 
the winter of 1796-97 was peculiar. She was at 
war with the two most formidable powers of Eu- 
rope, — Austria and England, the one the mistress 
of Central Europe, the other supreme ruler of the 
seas. The United States was the only maritime 
power which could be opposed to Great Britain. 
The French government determined to secure 
American aid by persuasion, if possible, otherwise 
by threat. The Directory indiscreetly appealed 
from the American government to the American 
people, forgetting that in representative govern- 
ments these are one. Nor was the precedent cited 


in defense of this unusual proceeding — namely, 
the appeal of the American colonists to the people 
of England, Ireland, and Canada to take part in 
the struggle against the British government — 
pertinent; for that was an appeal to sufferers 
under a common yoke. 

The enthusiasm awakened in France by the dra- 
matic reception of the American flag, presented by 
Monroe to the French Convention, was somewhat 
dampened by the cooler manner with which Con- 
gress received the tricolor, and was entirely dashed 
by the moderation of the reply of the House to 
Washington's message. The consent of the House 
to the appropriations to carry out the Jay Treaty 
decided the French Directory to suspend diplo- 
matic relations with the United States. The mar- 
velous successes of Bonaparte in Italy over the 
Austrian army encouraged Barras to bolder mea- 
sures. The Directory not only refused to receive 
Charles C. Pinckney, the new American minis- 
ter, but gave him formal notice to retire from 
French territory, and even threatened him with 
subjection to police jurisdiction. In view of this 
alarming situation, President Adams convened 

The first session of the fifth Congress began at 
Philadelphia on Monday, May 15, 1797. Jona- 
than Dayton was reelected speaker of the Housec 
Some new men now appeared on the field of na- 
tional debate : Samuel Sewall and Harrison Gray 
Otis from Massachusetts, James A. Bayard from 


Delaware, and John Rutledge, Jr., from South 
Carolina. Madison and Fisher Ames did not re- 
turn, and their loss was serious to their respective 
parties. Madison was incontestably the finest 
reasoning power, and Ames, as an orator, had no 
equal in our history until Webster appeared to 
dwarf all other fame beside his matchless elo- 
quence. Parties were nicely balanced, the nomi- 
nal majority being on the Federal side. Harper 
and Griswold retained the lead of the administra- 
tion party. Giles still led the Republican opposi- 
tion, but Gallatin was its main stay, always ready, 
always informed, and already known to be in the 
confidence of Jefferson, its moving spirit. The 
President's message was, as usual, the touchstone 
of party. The debate upon it unmasked opinions. 
It was to all intents a war message, since it asked 
provision for war. The action of France left no 
alternative. The Republicans recognized this as 
well as the Federalists. They must either respond 
heartily to the appeal of the executive to maintain 
the national honor, or come under the charge they 
had brought against the Federalists of sympathy 
with an enemy. At first they sought a middle 
ground. Admitting that the rejection of our min- 
ister and the manner of it, if followed by a refusal 
of all negotiation on the subject of mutual com- 
plaints, would put an end to every friendly relation 
between the two countries, they still hoped that it 
was only a suspension of diplomatic intercourse. 
Hence, in response to the assurance in the message 


that an attempt at negotiation would first be made, 
Nicholas moved an amendment in this vein. The 
Federalists opposed all interference with the exec- 
utive, but the Republicans took advantage of the 
debate to clear themselves of any taint of unpatri- 
otic motives in their semi-opposition. The Fed- 
eralists, repudiating the charge of British influence, 
held up Genet to condemnation, as making an 
appeal to the people, Fauchet as fomenting an in- 
surrection, and Adet as insulting the government. 
The Republicans retorted upon them Grenville's 
proposition to Mr. Pinckney, to support the Amer- 
ican government against the dangerous Jacobin 
factions which sought to overturn it. Gallatin de- 
precated bringing the conduct of foreign relations 
into debate, and hoped that the majority would 
resist the rashness which would drive the country 
into war; he claimed that a disposition should be 
shown to put France on an equal footing with other 
nations. He would offer an ultimatum to France. 
Harper closed the debate in a powerful and bril- 
liant speech, opposing the amendment because he 
was for peace, and because peace could only be 
maintained by showing France that we were pre- 
paring for war. So the rival leaders based their 
opposite action on a common ground. Dayton, 
the speaker, now embodied Gallatin's idea in an- 
other form, and introduced a paragraph to the 
effect that "the House receive with the utmost 
satisfaction the information of the President that 
a fresh attempt at negotiation will be instituted, 


and cherish the hope that a mutual spirit of con- 
ciliation and a disposition on the part of the United 
States to place France on grounds as favorable as 
other countries will produce an accommodation 
compatible with the engagements, rights, and honor 
of our nation." 

Kittera, who was one of the committee on the 
address, then moved to add after "mutual spirit of 
conciliation " the clause, "to compensate for any 
injury done to our neutral rights," etc. This both 
Harper and Gallatin opposed. Gallatin objected 
to being forced to this choice. To vote in its favor 
was a threat, if compensation were refused ; to vote 
against it was an abandonment of the claim. But 
he should oppose it, if forced to a choice. The 
Federal leaders insisted; the previous question 
was ordered, 51 to 48. Here Mr. Gallatin showed 
himself the leader of his party. He stated that, 
the majority having determined the question, it 
was now a choice of evils, and he should vote for 
the amendment, and it was adopted, 78 ayes to 21 
nays. Among the nays were Harper, the Feder- 
alist leader, Giles, the nominal chief of the Repub- 
licans, and Nicholas, high in rank in that party. 
But the last word was not yet said. Edward Liv- 
ingston, who day by day asserted himself more 
positively, denied that the conduct of the executive 
had been "just and impartial to foreign nations," 
and moved to strike out the statement; Gallatin 
was more moderate. Though he did not believe 
that in every instance the government had been 


just and impartial, yet, generally speaking, it had 
been so. He did not approve the British treaty, 
though he attributed no bad motives to its makers ; 
but he did not think that the laws respecting the 
subordinate departments of the executive and judi- 
ciary had been fairly executed. He therefore 
would not consent to the sentence in the answer to 
the address, that the House did not hesitate to de- 
clare that "they would give their most cordial sup- 
port to principles so deliberately and uprightly 

What, he asked, were these principles? Otis 
denounced this as an artful attempt to cast a cen- 
sure, not only on the executive, but on all the de- 
partments of government, and Allen of Connecti- 
cut declared "that there was American blood 
enough in the House to approve this clause and 
American accent enough to pronounce it." The 
rough prejudice of the Saxon against the Latin 
race showed itself in this language, and expressed 
the antagonism which Mr. Gallatin found to in- 
crease with his political progress. Both the reso- 
lution and the amendment were defeated, 53 nays 
to 45 yeas. But when the final vote came upon 
the address, Mr. Gallatin, with that practical sense 
which made him the sheet anchor of his party in 
boisterous weather, voted with the Federalists and 
carried the moderate Republicans with him. The 
vote was 62 to 36. Among the irreconcilables the 
name of Edward Livingston is recorded. 

The answer of the President was a model of good 


sense. "No event can afford me so much cordial 
satisfaction as to conduct a negotiation with the 
French Republic to a removal of prejudices, a cor- 
rection of errors, a dissipation of umbrages, an 
accommodation of all differences, and a restoration 
of harmony and affection to the mutual satisfaction 
of both nations." 

This was the leading debate of the session. The 
situation was too grave for trifling. On June 5, 
two days after the President's reply, resolutions 
were introduced to put the country in a state of 
defense. Gallatin struggled hard to keep down the 
appropriations, and opposed the employment of the 
three frigates, which as yet had not been equipped 
or manned. If they got to sea, the President 
would have no option except to enforce the dis- 
puted articles of the French treaty. Gallatin laid 
down also the law of search in accordance with the 
law of nations, and pointed out that resistance to 
search or capture by merchantmen would not only 
lead to war, but was war. In the remaining acts 
of the session he was in favor of the defense of 
ports and harbors, with no preference as to fortifi- 
cation on government territory ; in favor of a pro- 
hibition of the export of arms; against raising an 
additional corps of artillery; against expatriation 
of persons who took service under foreign govern- 
ments. He opposed the duty on salt as unequal 
and unnecessary, and sought to have the loan, 
which became necessary, cut down to the exact 
sum of the deficiency in the appropriations ; and 


finally, on the impeachment of William Blount, 
Senator of the United States, charged with having 
conspired with the British government to attack 
the Spaniards of St. Augustine, he pointed out the 
true method of procedure in the preparation of 
the bill of impeachment and the arraignment of the 

The House adjourned on July 10. Jefferson 
complained of the weakness and wavering of this 
Congress, the majority of which shifted with the 
breeze of "panic or prowess." This was, however, 
a very narrow view ; for at this session the House 
fairly represented the prevailing sentiment of the 
country, which was friendly to France as a nation, 
but indignant with the insolence of her rulers. 
Gallatin, in the middle of the session, wrote to his 
wife that the Republicans "were beating and 
beaten by turns." He supposed that her father, 
Commodore Nicholson, c thought him too moderate 
and about to trim/ and then declared, 4 Modera- 
tion and firmness hath ever been, and ever will be, 
my motto.' Gallatin tells a story of his colleague 
from Pennsylvania, the old Anti-Federalist, Blair 
McClanachan, which shows the warmth of party 
feeling. They were both dining with President 
Adams, who entertained the members of Congress 
in turn. "McClanachan told the President that, 
by God, he would rather see the world annihilated 
than this country united with Great Britain ; that 
there would not remain a single king in Europe 
within six months, etc., all in the loudest and most 
decisive tone." 


Jefferson, who, as vice-president, presided over 
the debates in the Senate, had no cause to complain 
of any hesitation in that body, in which the Feder- 
alists had regained a clear working majority, giv- 
ing him no chance of a deciding vote. 

The second session of the fifth Congress began 
on November 13, 1797. The words of the Presi- 
dent's address, "We are met together at a most 
interesting period, the situation of the powers of 
Europe is singular and portentous," was not an 
idle phrase. The star of Bonaparte already domi- 
nated the political firmament. Europe lay pros- 
trate at the feet of the armies of the Directory. 
England, who was supposed to be the next object 
of attack, was staggering under the load of debt; 
and the sailors of her channel fleet had risen in 
mutiny. Even the Federalists, the aristocrats as 
Mr. Gallatin delighted to call them, believed that 
she was gone beyond recovery. But the admirers 
of France were no better satisfied with the threat- 
ening attitude of the Directory towards America, 
and eagerly waited news of the reception given to 
the envoys extraordinary, Gerry, Pinckney, and 
Marshall, whom Adams with the consent of the 
Senate dispatched to Paris in the summer. Even 
Jefferson lost his taste for a French alliance, and 
almost wished there were "an ocean of fire between 
the new and the old world." 

The tone of the President's address was consid- 
ered wise on all sides, and it was agreed that the 


answer should be general and not a subject of con- 
tention. One of the members asked to be excused 
from going with the House to the President, but 
Gallatin showed that, as there was no power to 
compel attendance, no formal excuse was neces- 
sary. When the motion was put as to whether 
they should go in a body as usual to present their 
answer, Mr. Gallatin voted in the negative. He 
nevertheless accompanied the members, who were 
received pleasantly by President Adams and 
"treated to cake and wine." 

Harper was made the chairman of the Ways and 
Means Committee. Though of high talents and a 
fine speaker, Gallatin found him a "great bungler" 
in the business of the House, a large share of which 
fell upon his own shoulders as well as the direction 
of the Republicans, of whom, notwithstanding the 
jealousy of Giles, he now was the acknowledged 
leader. As a member for Pennsylvania, Mr. Gal- 
latin presented a memorial from the Quakers with 
regard to the arrest of fugitive slaves on her soil ; 
the law of Pennsylvania declaring all men to be 
free who set foot in that State except only servants 
of members of Congress. There was already an 
opposition to hearing any petition with regard to 
slaves, but Gallatin insisted on the memorial tak- 
ing the usual course of reference to a committee. 
He directed the House also in the correct path in 
its legislation as to foreign coins. It was proposed 
to take from them the quality of legal tender; but 
he showed that it was policy not to discriminate 


against such coins until the mint could supply a 
sufficiency for the use of the country. In this ar- 
gument he estimated the entire amount of specie 
in the United States at eight millions of dollars. 
At this early period in his political career he was 
acquiring that precise knowledge of the facts of 
American finance which later served to establish 
the principles upon which it is based. 

This session was noteworthy by reason of the 
first personal encounter on the floor of the House. 
It was between two Northern members, Lyon of 
Vermont and Griswold of Connecticut. Gallatin 
stood by Lyon, who was of his party, and showed 
that the House could not expel him, since it was 
not at the time in organized session. As the Fed- 
eralists would not consent to censure Griswold, 
both offenders escaped even a formal reproof. The 
general bitterness of feeling which marked the 
summer session was greatly modified in the expect- 
ant state of foreign politics; but the occasion for 
display of political divergence was not long delayed. 

On January 18, 1798, Mr. Harper, who led the 
business of the House, moved the appropriation 
for foreign intercourse. This was seized upon by 
the opposition to advance still further their line of 
attack by a limitation of the constitutional prero- 
gative of the President. In addition to the usual 
salaries of the envoys to Great Britain and France, 
appropriations were asked for the posts at Madrid, 
Lisbon, and Berlin, which last Mr. Adams had 
designated as a first-class mission. The discussion 


on the powers of the President, and the extent to 
which they might be controlled by paring down the 
appropriations, lifted the debate from the narrow 
ground of economy in administration to the higher 
plane of constitutional powers. Nicholas opened 
on the Republican side by announcing that it was 
seasonable to bring back the establishment of the 
diplomatic corps to the footing it had been on un- 
til the year 1796. In all governments like our own 
he declared that there was a tendency to a union 
and consolidation of all its parts into the executive, 
and the limitation and annexion of the parts with 
each other as settled by the Constitution would be 
destroyed by this influence unless there were a con- 
stant attention on the part of the legislature to 
resist it. The appointment of a minister plenipo- 
tentiary to Prussia, with which we had little or no 
commercial intercourse, offered an opportunity to 
determine this limitation. Harper said that this 
was a renewal of the old charge that foreign inter- 
course was unnecessary, aiid the old suggestion that 
our commerce ought to be given up or left to shift 
for itself. Mr. Gallatin laid down extreme theo- 
ries which have never yet found practical applica- 
tion. He took the question at once from party or 
personal ground by admitting that the government 
was essentially pure, its patronage not extensive, or 
its effect upon the legislative or an}' other branch 
of the government as yet material. The Constitu- 
tion had placed the patronage in the executive. 
There he thought it was wisely placed. The leg- 


islature would be more corrupt than the executive 
were it placed with them. While not willing at 
once to give up political foreign intercourse, he 
thought that it should by degrees be altogether de- 
clined. To it he ascribed the critical situation of 
the country. Commercial intercourse could be 
protected by the consular system. He then argued 
that the power to provide for expenses was the 
check intended by the Constitution. To this Gris- 
wold answered that this doctrine of checks con- 
tained more mischief than Pandora's box; Bayard, 
that the checks were all directed to the executive, 
and that they would check and counter-check until 
they stopped the wheels of gove7*?iment. 1 When 
the President was manacled and at the mercy of 
the House they would be satisfied. He held the 
executive to be the weakest branch of the govern- 
ment, because its powers are defined; but the 
limits of the House are undefined. 

As the debate advanced, Nicholas declared that 
the purpose of the Republicans was to define the 
executive power and to put an end to its extension 
through their power over appropriations. Later 
he would bring in a motion to do away with all 
foreign intercourse. Goodrich answered that the 
office of foreign minister was created by the Con- 
stitution itself, and the power of appointment was 
placed in the President. The House might specu- 
late upon the propriety of doing away with all in- 

1 The phrase " stop the wheels of government " originated with 
s< Peter Porcupine " (William Cobbett) and was on every tongue. 


tercourse with foreign powers, but could not decide 
on it, for political intercourse did not depend on 
the sending of ministers abroad. Foreign ministers 
would come here and the Constitution required 
their reception. The idea that we should have no 
foreign intercourse was taken from Washington's 
Farewell Address, but his words applied only to 
alliances offensive and defensive. If ministers 
were abandoned, envoys extraordinary must be 
sent, a much more dangerous practice; the only 
choice was between ministers and spies. In con- 
clusion he accused the Republicans of making one 
continuous attack upon the administration, and 
charged that the opposition to the appropriation 
bill was not a single measure, but connected with 
others, and intended to clog the wheels of govern- 

The purpose of the Republicans being thus de- 
clared by Nicholas and squarely met by the friends 
of the administration, Mr. Gallatin, March 1, 
1798, summed up the opposition arguments in an 
elaborate speech three hours and a quarter in 
length. He denied the novel doctrine that each 
department had checks within itself, but none 
upon others; he claimed that the principle of 
checks is admitted in all mixed governments. 
Commercial intercourse, he said, is regulated by 
the law of nations, by the municipal law of respec- 
tive countries and by treaties of commerce, the 
application of which is the province of consuls. 
What advantages, he asked, had our commercial 


treaties given us, either that with France or that 
with England? He excepted that part of the 
treaty with Great Britain which arranged our dif- 
ference with that power, as foreign to the discus- 
sion. He claimed that the restriction whicli we 
had laid upon ourselves by our commercial treaties 
had been attended with political consequences fatal 
to our tranquillity. Washington had advised a 
separation of our political from our commercial 
relations. The message of President Adams inti- 
mated a different policy and alluded to the balance 
of power in Europe as not to be forgotten or neg- 
lected. Interesting as that balance may be to 
Europe, how does it concern us? We shall never 
throw our weight into the scale. Passing from 
this to the danger of the absorption of powers by 
the executive, he cited the examples of the Cortes 
of Spain, the Etats Generaux of France, the Diets 
of Denmark. In all these countries the executive 
is in possession of legislative, of absolute powers. 
The fate of the European republics was similar. 
Venice, Switzerland, and Holland had shown the 
legislative powers merging into the executive. The 
object of the Constitution of the United States 
is to divide and distribute the powers of govern- 
ment. With uncontrolled command over the purse 
of the people the executive tends to prodigality, 
to taxes, and to wars. He closed with a hope 
that a fixed determination to prevent the increase 
of the national expenditure, and to detach the 
country from any connection with European poli- 


tics, would tend to reconcile parties, promote the 
happiness of America, and conciliate the affection 
of every part of the Union. No such admirable 
exposition of the true American doctrine of non- 
interference with European politics had at that 
time been heard in Congress. 

In reply, Harper insisted on the admission that 
the purpose of the amendment of Nicholas was to 
restrain the President; that it was a question of 
power, not of money. Mr. Gallatin admitted the 
right of appointment, but denied that the House 
was bound to appropriate. Harper rejoined that 
the offices did not originate with the President but 
with the Constitution, and that they could not be 
destroyed by the action of the House, and, leaving 
the general ground of debate, made a brilliant 
attack upon the Republicans as revolutionists, 
whom he divided into three classes : the philoso- 
phers, the Jacobins, and the sans-culottes. The 
philosophers are most to be dreaded. "They de- 
claim with warmth on the miseries of mankind, 
the abuses of government, and the vices of rulers ; 
all which they engage to remove, providing their 
theories should once be adopted. They talk of 
the perfectibility of man and of the dignity of his 
nature; and, entirely forgetting what he is, de- 
claim perpetually about what he should be." Of 
Jacobins there are plenty. They profit by the 
labors of others; tyrants in power, demagogues 
when not. Fortunately for America there are 
few or no sans-culottes among her inhabitants. 


Jefferson, he said, returned from France a mis- 
sionary to convert Americans to the new faith, 
and he charged that the system of French alliance 
and war with Great Britain by the United States 
was a part of the scheme of the French revolution- 
ists, and was imported into this country. Galla- 
tin and his friends he regarded in the light of an 
enemy who has commenced a siege against the 
fortress of the Constitution. 

The restricting amendment was lost, and the 
bill passed by a vote of 52 yeas to 43 nays. Nor 
is it easy to see how the theory of Mr. Gallatin 
with regard to diplomatic relations could have been 
applied successfully with the existing channels of 
intercourse. Now that the ocean cable brings 
governments into direct relation with each other, 
there is a tendency to restrict the authority of 
ambassadors, for whom there is no longer need, 
and the entire system will no doubt soon disappear. 
Mr. Gallatin's speech was the delight of his party 
and his friends. He was called upon to write it 
out, and two thousand copies of it were circulated 
as the best exposition of Republican doctrine. 

Early in February the President informed Con- 
gress of certain captures and outrages committed 
by a French privateer within the limits of the 
United States, including the burning of an Eng- 
lish merchantman in the harbor of Charleston. 
On March 19, in a further special message, he com- 
municated dispatches from the American envoys 
in France, and also informed Congress that he 


should withdraw his order forbidding merchant 
vessels to sail in an armed condition. A collision 
might, therefore, occur at any moment. 

On March 27, 1798, a resolution was introduced 
that it is not now expedient for the United States 
to resort to war against the French Republic; a 
second, to restrict the arming of merchant vessels; 
and a third, to provide for the protection of the 
seacoast and the internal defense of the country. 
Speaking to the first resolution, Mr. Gallatin said 
that the United States had arrived at a crisis at 
which a stand must be made, when the House 
must say whether it will resort to war or preserve 
peace. If to war, the expense and its evils must 
be met ; if peace continue, then the country must 
submit: in either case American vessels would be 
taken. It was a mere matter of calculation which 
course would best serve the interest and happiness 
of the country. If he could separate defensive 
from offensive war, he should be in favor of it; 
but he could not make the distinction, and there- 
fore he should be in favor of measures of peace. 
The act of the President was a war measure. 
Members of the House so designated it in letters 
to their constituents. 

On April 2 the President was requested to 
communicate the instructions and dispatches from 
the envoys extraordinary, mention of which he 
had made in his message of March 19. Gallatin 
supported the call. He said that the President 
was not afraid of communicating information, as 


he had shown in the preceding session, and that 
to withhold it would endanger the safety of our 
commerce, or prevent the happy issue of negotia- 
tion. On April 3 Mr. Gallatin presented a peti- 
tion against hazarding the neutrality and peace of 
the nation by authorizing private citizens to arm 
and equip vessels. This was signed by forty mem- 
bers of the Pennsylvania legislature. Protests of 
a similar character were presented from other parts 
of the country. On the same day the President 
sent in the famous X Y Z dispatches, in confi- 
dence. These letters represented the names of 
Hottinguer, Bellamy, and Hauteval, the agents 
of Talleyrand, the foreign minister of the First 
Consul, which were withheld by the President. 
The mysterious negotiations contained a distinct 
demand by Talleyrand of a douceur of 1,200,000 
livres to the French officials as a condition of 
peace. The effect was immediately to strengthen 
the administration, Dayton, the speaker, passing 
to the ranks of the Federalists. 

On the 18th the Senate sent down a bill au- 
thorizing the President to procure sixteen armed 
vessels to act as convoys. Gallatin still held firm. 
He admitted that from the beginning of the Euro- 
pean contest the belligerent powers had disregarded 
the law of nations and the stipulations of treaties, 
but he still opposed the granting of armed convoys, 
which would lead to a collision. Let us not, he 
said, act on speculative grounds; if our present 
situation is better than war, let us keep it. Better 


even, he said, suffer the French to go on with 
their depredations than to take any step which 
may lead to war. 

Allen of Connecticut read a passage from the 
dispatches which envenomed the debate. By it 
one of the French agents appears to have warned 
the American envoys that they were mistaken in 
supposing that an exposition of the unreasonable 
demands of France would unite the people of the 
United States. He said, "You should know that 
the diplomatic skill of France and the means she 
possesses in your country are sufficient to enable 
her, with the French party in America, to throw 
the blame which will attend the rupture of the 
negotiations on the Federalists, as you term your- 
selves, but on the British party, as France terms 
you, and you may assure yourselves this will be 
done." Allen then charged upon Gallatin that 
his language was that of a foreign agent. Galla- 
tin replied that the representatives of the French 
Republic in this country had shown themselves to 
be the worst diplomatists that had ever been sent 
to it, and he asked why the gentlemen who did 
not come forward with a declaration of war (though 
they were willing to go to war without the decla- 
ration) charge their adversaries with meaning to 
submit to France. France might declare war or 
give an order to seize American vessels, but as 
long as she did not, some hope remained that the 
state of peace might not be broken; and he said 
in conclusion "that, notwithstanding all the vio- 


lent charges and personal abuse whicl^ had been 
made against him, it would produce n«4]|£fejt£nce 
in his manner of acting, neither prevent himirom^ 
speaking against every measure which he^Mught L 

injurious to the public interest, no/fi^/ihfi others' 
hand, inflame his mind so as to induce hm*>to 
oppose measures which he might heretofore have *Uj. 

thought proper." 

The war feeling ran high in the country; "Mil- 
lions for defense, but not one cent for tribute," * 
was the popular cry. On May 28 Mr. Harper 
introduced a bill to suspend commercial intercourse 
with France. Gallatin thought this a doubtful 
measure. Its avowed purpose was to distress 
France in the West Indies, but he said that in 
six months that entire trade would be by neutral 
vessels. In the discussion on the bill to regulate 
the arming of merchant vessels, he showed that it 
was the practice of neutral European nations to 
allow such vessels to arm, but not to regulate their 
conduct. Bonds are required in cases of letter of 
marque, and the merchant who arms is bound not 
to break the laws of nations or the agreements of 
treaties. Restriction was therefore unnecessary,, 
Government should not interfere. Commercial 
intercourse with France was suspended June 13. 

In the pride of their new triumph and the inten- 
sity of their personal feeling the Federalists over- 
leaped their mark, and began a series of measures 
which ultimately cost them the possession of the 

1 Charles C. Pinckney, when ambassador to France, 1796. 


government and their political existence. The 
first of these was the Sedition Bill, which Jeffer- 
son believed to be aimed at Gallatin in person. 
Mr. Gallatin met it at its inception with a state- 
ment of the constitutional objections, viz., 1st, 
that there was no power to make such a law, and 
2d, the special provision in the Constitution that 
the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended 
except in cases of rebellion and invasion. There 
was neither. The second, the Alien Bill, gave 
the President power to expel from the country all 
aliens. Over this measure Gallatin and Harper 
had hot words. Gallatin charged upon Harper 
not only a misrepresentation of the arguments of 
his opponents, but an arraignment of the motives 
of others, while claiming all purity for his own. 
Harper answered in words which show that Gal- 
latin, for once, had met warmth with warmth, and 
anger with anger. When, Harper said, a gentle- 
man, who is usually so cool, all at once assumes 
such a tone of passion as to forget all decorum of 
language, it would seem as if the observation had 
been properly applied. On the vote to strike out 
the obnoxious sections, the Federalists defeated 
their antagonists, and on June 21 the bill itself 
was passed with all its odious features by 46 to 40. 
On June 21 President Adams sent in a message 
with letters from Gerry, who had remained at 
Paris after the return of Marshall and Pinckney, 
on the subject of a loan. They contained an 
intimation from Talleyrand that he was ready to 


resume negotiations. In this message Adams said, 
" I will never send another minister to France with- 
out assurances that he will be received, respected, 
and honored as the representative of a great, free, 
powerful, and independent nation." On the 25th 
an act was passed authorizing the commanders 
of merchant vessels to defend themselves against 
search and seizure under regulations by the Presi- 
dent. On June 30 a further act authorized the 
purchase and equipment of twelve vessels as an 
addition to the naval armament. To all intents 
and purposes a state of war between the two coun- 
tries already existed. 

The 4th of July (1798) was celebrated with un- 
usual enthusiasm all over the United States, and 
the black cockade was generally worn. This was 
the distinctive badge of the Federalists, and a 
response to the tricolor which Adet had recom- 
mended all French citizens to wear in 1794. 

On July 5 a resolution was moved to appoint a 
committee to consider the expediency of declaring, 
by legislative act, the state of relations between 
the United States and the French Republic. Mr. 
Gallatin asked if a declaration of war could not 
be moved as an amendment, but the speaker, Mr. 
Dayton, made no reply. Mr. Gallatin objected 
that Congress could not declare a state of facts by 
a legislative act. But this view, if tenable then, 
has long since been abandoned. In witness of 
which it is only necessary to name the celebrated 
resolution of the Congress of 18G5 with regard to 


the recognition of a monarchy in Mexico. July 
6 the House went into committee of the whole on 
the state of the Union to consider a bill sent down 
by the Senate abrogating the treaty with France. 
The bill was passed on the 16th by a vote of 47 
ayes to 37 nays, Gallatin voting in the negative. 
The House adjourned the same day. 

While thus engaged in debates which called into 
exercise his varied information and displayed not 
only the extent of his learning but his remarkable 
powers of reasoning and statement, Mr. Gallatin 
never lost sight of reform in the administration of 
the finances of the government. To the success 
of his efforts to hold the Treasury Department to 
a strict conformity with his theory of administra- 
tion, Mr. Wolcott, the secretary, gave ample if 
unwilling testimony. To Hamilton he wrote on 
April 5, 1798, "The management of the Treasury 
becomes more and more difficult. The legislature 
will not pass laws in gross; their appropriations 
are minute. Gallatin, to whom they yield, is evi- 
dently intending to break down this department 
by charging it with an impracticable detail." 

During these warm discussions Gallatin rarely 
lost his self-control. Writing to his old friend 
Lesdernier at this period, he said, "You may re- 
member I am blessed with a very even temper; it 
has not been altered by time or politics." 

The third session of the fifth Congress opened 
on December 3, 1798. On the 8th, when the 


President was expected, Lieuten ant-General Wash- 
ington and Generals Pinckney and Hamilton en- 
tered the hall and took their places on the right 
of the speaker's chair. They had been recently 
appointed to command the army of defense. 

The President's speech announced no change in 
the situation. "Nothing," he said, "is discover- 
able in the conduct of France which ought to 
change or relax our measures for defense. On 
the contrary, to extend and invigorate them is our 
true policy. An efficient preparation for war can 
alone insure peace. It must be left to France, if 
she is indeed desirous of accommodation, to take 
the requisite steps. The United States will stead- 
ily observe the maxims by which they have hith- 
erto been governed." The reply to this patriotic 
sentiment was unanimously agreed to, and was 
most grateful to Adams, who thanked the House 
for it as "consonant to the characters of represen- 
tatives of a great and free people." 

On December 27 a peculiar resolution was intro- 
duced to punish the usurpation of the executive 
authority of the government of the United States 
in carrying on correspondence with the govern- 
ment of any foreign prince or state. Gallatin 
thought this resolution covered too much ground. 
The criminality of such acts did not lie in their 
being usurpations, but in the nature of the crime 
committed. There was no authority in the Con- 
stitution for a grant of such a power to the Presi- 
dent. To afford aid and comfort to the enemy 


was treason, but there was no war, and therefore 
no enemy. He claimed the right to himself and 
others to do all in his power to secure a peace, 
even by correspondence abroad, and he would not 
admit that the ground taken by the friends of 
the measure was a proper foundation for a general 
law. A committee was, however, appointed, in 
spite of this remonstrance, to consider the pro- 
priety of including in the general act all persons 
who should commence or carry on a correspond- 
ence, by a vote of 65 to 23. A bill was reported 
on January 9, when Gallatin endeavored to attach 
a proviso that the law should not operate upon 
persons seeking justice or redress from foreign 
governments; but his motion was defeated by a 
vote of 48 to 37. Later, however, a resolution 
of Mr. Parker, that nothing in the act should be 
construed to abridge the rights of any citizen to 
apply for such redress, was adopted by a vote of 
69 yeas to 27 nays. On this vote Harper voted 
yea. Griswold, Otis, Bayard, and Goodrich were 
found among the nays. Gallatin succeeded in 
carrying an amendment defining the bill, after 
which it was passed by a vote of 58 to 36. 

Towards the close of January, 1799, a bill was 
brought in authorizing the President to discon- 
tinue the restraints of the act suspending inter- 
course with the French West India Islands, when- 
ever any persons in authority or command should 
so request. This was to invite a secession of the 
French colonies from the mother country. Galla- 


tin deprecated any action which might induce re- 
bellion against authority, or lead to self-govern- 
ment among the people of the islands who were 
unfit for it. Moreover, such action would remove 
still further every expectation of an accommoda- 
tion with France. The bill was passed by a vote 
of 55 to 37. He objected to the bill to authorize 
the President to suspend intercourse with Spanish 
and Dutch ports which should harbor French pri- 
vateers, as placing an unlimited power to interdict 
commerce in the hands of the executive. The bill 
was carried by 55 to 37. On the question of the 
augmentation of the navy he opposed the building 
of the seventy-fours. 

In February Edward Livingston presented a 
petition from aliens, natives of Ireland, against 
the Alien and Sedition laws. Numerous similar 
petitions followed; one was signed by 18,000 per- 
sons in Pennsylvania alone. To postpone consid- 
eration of the subject, the Federalists sent these 
papers to a select committee, against the protests 
of Livingston and Gallatin. This course was the 
more peculiar because of the reference of petitions 
of a similar character in the month previous to the 
committee of the whole. The Federalists were 
abusing their majority, and precipitating their un- 
expected but certain ruin. One more effort was 
made to repeal the offensive penal act; the consti- 
tutional objection was again pleaded, but the re- 
peal was defeated by a vote of 52 in the affirma- 
tive. Mr. Gallatin opposed these laws in all their 


stages, but, failing in this, persistently endeavored 
to make them as good as possible before they 
passed. Jefferson later said that nothing could 
obliterate from the recollection of those who were 
witnesses of it the courage of Gallatin in the 
"Days of Terror." 1 The vote of thanks to Mr. 
Dayton, the speaker, was carried by a vote of 
40 to 22. On March 3, 1800, this Congress ad- 

The sixth Congress met at Philadelphia on De- 
cember 2, 1799. The Federalists were returned 
in full majority. Among the new members of 
the House, John Marshall and John Randolph 
appeared for Virginia. Theodore Sedgwick was 
chosen speaker. President Adams came down to 
the House on the 3d and made the usual speech. 
The address in reply, reported by a committee of 
which Marshall was chairman, was agreed to with- 
out amendment. Adams was again delighted with 
the very respectful terms adopted at the "first 
assembly after a fresh election, under the strong 
impression of the public opinion and national sense 
at this interesting and singular crisis." At this 
session it was the sad privilege of Marshall to an- 
nounce the death of Washington, "the Hero, the 
Sage, and the Patriot of America." In the shadow 
of this great grief, party passion was hushed for 
a while. 

1 Jefferson to William Duane, March 28, 1811. Jefferson's 
Works, vol. v. p. 574. 


Gallatin again led the Republican opposition; 
Nicholas and Macon were his able lieutenants. 
The line of attack of the Republicans was clear. 
If war could be avoided, the growing unpopularity 
of the Alien and Sedition laws would surely bring 
them to power. The foreign-born voter was al- 
ready a factor in American politics. In January 
the law providing for an addition to the army was 
suspended. Macon then moved the repeal of the 
Sedition Law. He took the ground that it was 
a measure of defense. Bayard adroitly proposed 
as an amendment that "the offenses therein speci- 
fied shall remain punishable as at common law, 
provided that upon any prosecution it shall be 
lawful for the defendant to give as his defense the 
truth of the matter charged as a libel." Gallatin 
called upon the chair to declare the amendment 
out of order, as intended to destroy the resolution, 
but the speaker declined, and the amendment was 
carried by a vote of 51 to 47. The resolution 
thus amended was then defeated by a vote of 87 
to 1. The Republicans preferred the odious act 
in its original form rather than accept the Federal 
interpretation of it. 

On February 11, 1800, a bill was introduced 
into Congress further to suspend commercial inter- 
course with France. It passed the House after a 
short debate by a vote of 68 yeas to 28 nays. On 
this bill the Republican leaders were divided. 
Nicholas, Macon, and Randolph opposed it; but 
Gallatin, separating from his friends, carried 


enough of his party with him to secure its passage. 
Returned by the Senate with amendments, it was 
again objected to by Macon as fatal to the inter- 
ests of the Southern States, but the House resolved 
to concur by a vote of 50 to 36. 

In March the country was greatly excited by 
the news of an engagement on the 1st of February, 
off Guadaloupe, between the United States frigate 
Constellation, thirty-eight guns, and a French 
national frigate, La Vengeance, fifty-four guns. 
The House of Representatives called on the secre- 
tary of the navy for information, and, by 84 yeas 
to 4 nays, voted a gold medal to Captain Truxton, 
who commanded the American ship. John Ran- 
dolph's name is recorded in the negative. 

Notwithstanding this collision, the relations o£ 
the United States and France were gradually 
assuming a kindlier phase. The Directory had 
sought to drive the American government into 
active measures against England. Bonaparte, 
chosen First Consul, at once adopted a conciliatory 
tone. Preparing for a great continental struggle, 
he was concentrating the energies and the powers 
of France. In May Mr. Parker called the atten- 
tion of the House to this change of conduct in the 
French government and offered a resolution in- 
structing the Committee on Commerce to inquire 
if any amendments to the Foreign Intercourse Act 
were necessary. Macon moved to amend so that 
the inquiry should be whether it were not expedi- 
ent to repeal the act. Gallatin opposed the reso- 


lution on the ground that it was highly improper 
to take any measures at the present time which 
would change the defensive system of the country. 
The resolution was negatived, — 43 nays to 40 

One singular opposition of Gallatin is recorded 
towards the close of the session; the Committee 
on the Treasury Department reported an amend- 
ment to the act of establishment, providing that 
the secretary of the treasury shall lay before Con- 
gress, at the commencement of every session, a 
report on finance with plans for the support of 
credit, etc. Gallatin and Nicholas opposed this 
bill, because it came down from the Senate, which 
had no constitutional right to originate a money 
bill; but Griswold and Harper at once took the 
correct ground that it was not a bill, but a report 
on the state of the finances, in which the Senate 
had an equal share with the House. The bill was 
passed by a vote of 43 to 39. It is worthy of note 
that the first report on the state of the finances 
communicated under this act was by Mr. Gal- 
latin himself the next year, and that it was sent 
in to the Senate. The House adjourned on May 
14, 1800. 

The second session of the sixth Congress was 
held at the city of Washington, to which the seat 
of government had been removed in the summer 
interval. After two southerly migrations they 
were now definitively established at a national 


capital. The session opened on November 17, 
1800. On the 22d President Adams congratulated 
Congress on "the prospect of a residence not to 
be changed." The address of the House in reply- 
was adopted by a close vote. 

The situation of foreign relations was changed. 
The First Consul received the American envoys 
cordially, and a commercial convention was made 
but secured ratification by the Senate only after 
the elimination of an article and a limitation of 
its duration to eight years. While the bill was 
pending in the Senate, Mr. Samuel Smith moved 
to continue the act to suspend commercial inter- 
course with France. Mr. Gallatin opposed this 
motion ; at the last session he had voted for this 
bill because there was only the appearance of a 
treaty. Now that the precise state of negotiation 
was known, why should the House longer leave 
this matter to the discretion of the President? 
The House decided to reject the indiscreet bill by 
a vote of 59 to 37. An effort was also made to 
repeal a part of the Sedition Law, and continue 
the rest in force, but the House refused to order 
the engrossing of the bill, taking wise counsel of 
Dawson, who said that, supported by the justice 
and policy of their measures, the approaching ad- 
ministration would not need the aid of either the 
alien, sedition, or common law. The opponents 
of the bill would not consent to any modification. 
The last scenes of the session were of exciting in- 


Freed from the menace of immediate war, the 
people of plain common sense recognized that the 
friendship of Great Britain was more dangerous 
than the enmity of France. They dreaded the 
fixed power of an organized aristocracy far more 
than the ephemeral anarchy of an ill-ordered de- 
mocracy; they were more averse to class distinc- 
tions protected by law than even to military despot- 
ism which destroyed all distinctions, and they pre- 
ferred, as man always has preferred and always 
will prefer, personal to political equality. The 
Alien and Sedition laws had borne their legitimate 
fruit. The foreign-born population held the bal- 
ance of power; a general vote would have shown 
a large Republican or, it is more correct to say, 
anti-Federalist majority. But the popular will 
could not be thus expressed. Under the old sys- 
tem each elector in the electoral college cast his 
ballot for president and vice-president without 
designation of his preference as to who should fill 
the first place. New England was solid for Adams, 
who, however, had little strength beyond the limits 
of this Federal stronghold. New York and the 
Southern States with inconsiderable exceptions 
were Republican. Pennsylvania was so divided 
in the legislature that her entire vote would have 
been lost but for a compromise which gave to the 
Republicans one vote more than to the Federalists. 
Adams being out of the question, the election to 
the first place lay between Jefferson and Burr, 
both Republicans. The Federalists, therefore, had 


their option between the two Republican candi- 
dates, and the result was within the reach of that 
most detestable of combinations, a political bar- 
gain. Mr. Gallatin's position in this condition of 
affairs was controlling. His loyalty to Jefferson 
was unquestioned, while Burr was the favorite of 
the large Republican party in New York whose 
leaders were Mr. Gallatin's immediate friends and 
warm supporters. Both Jefferson and Burr were 
accused of bargaining to secure enough of the 
Federalist vote to turn the scale. That Mr. Jef- 
ferson did make some sacrifice of his independence 
is now believed. Whether Mr. Gallatin was aware 
of any such compromise is uncertain. If such 
bargain were made, General Samuel Smith was 
the channel of arrangement, and in view of the 
inexplicable and ignominious deference of Jeffer- 
son and Madison to his political demands, there 
is little doubt that he held a secret power which 
they dared not resist. Gallatin felt it, suffered 
from it, protested against it, but submitted to it. 

The fear was that Congress might adjourn with- 
out a conclusion. To meet this emergency Mr. 
Gallatin devised a plan of balloting in the House, 
which he communicated to Mr. Jefferson and Mr. 
Nicholas. It stated the objects of the Federalists 
to be, 1st, to elect Burr ; 2d, to defeat the present 
election and order a new one; 3d, to assume ex- 
ecutive power during the interregnum. These he 
considers, and suggests alternative action in case 
of submission or resistance on the part of the Re- 


publicans. The Federalists, holding three branches 
of government, viz., the presidency, a majority in 
the Senate, and a majority in the House, might 
pass a law declaring that one of the great officers 
designated by the Constitution should act as presi- 
dent pro tempore, which would be constitutional. 
But while Mr. Gallatin in this paragraph admitted 
such a law to be constitutional, in the next he 
argued that the act of the person designated by 
law, or of the president pro tempore, assuming 
the power is clearly "unconstitutional." By this 
ingenious process of reasoning, to which the strict 
constructionists have always been partial, it might 
be unconstitutional to carry out constitutional law. 
The assumption of such power was therefore, Mr. 
Gallatin held, usurpation, to be resisted in one of 
two ways ; by declaring the interval till the next 
session of Congress an interregnum, allowing all 
laws not immediately connected with presidential 
powers to take their course, and opposing a silent 
resistance to all others; or by the Republicans 
assuming the executive power by a joint act of 
the two candidates, or by the relinquishment of 
all claims by one of them. On the other hand, 
the proposed outlines of Republican conduct were, 
1st, to persevere in voting for Mr. Jefferson ; 2d, 
to use every endeavor to defeat any law on the 
subject; 3d, to try to persuade Mr. Adams to 
refuse his consent to any such law and not to call 
the Senate on any account if there should be no 
choice by the House. 


In a letter written in 1848 Mr. Gallatin said 
that a provision by law, that if there should be no 
election the executive power be placed in the 
hands of some public officer, was a revolutionary 
act of usurpation which would have been put down 
by force if necessary. It was threatened that, if 
any man should be thus appointed President he 
should instantly be put to death, and bodies of 
men were said to be organized, in Maryland and 
Virginia, ready to march to Washington on March 
4 for that purpose. The fears of violence were so 
great that to Governor McKean of Penns} 7 lvania 
was submitted the propriety of having a body of 
militia in readiness to reach the capital in time to 
prevent civil war. From this letter of Mr. Gal- 
latin, then the last surviving witness of the elec- 
tion, only one conclusion can be drawn : that the 
Republicans would have preferred violent resist- 
ance to temporary submission, even though the 
officer exercising executive powers w r as appointed 
in accordance with law. Fortunately for the young 
country there was enough good sense and patriot- 
ism in the ranks of the Federalists to avert the 

On the suggestion of Mr. Bayard it was agreed 
by a committee of sixteen members, one from each 
State, that if it should appear that the two persons 
highest on the list, Jefferson and Burr, had an 
equal number of votes, the House should immedi- 
ately proceed in their own chamber to choose the 
president by ballot, and should not adjourn until 


an election should have been made. On the first 
ballot there was a tie between Jefferson and Burr ; 
the deadlock continued until February 17, when 
the Federalists abandoned the contest, and Mr. 
Jefferson received the requisite number of votes. 
Burr, having the second number, became vice- 

Mr. Gallatin's third congressional, term closed 
with this Congress. In his first term he asserted 
his power and took his place in the councils of the 
part}\ In his second, he became its acknowledged 
chief. In the third, he led its forces to final vic- 
tory. But for his opposition, war would have 
been declared against France, and the Republican 
party would have disappeared in the political 
chasm. But for his admirable management, Mr. 
Jefferson would have been relegated to the study of 
theoretical government on his Monticello farm, or 
to play second fiddle at the Capitol to the music 
of Aaron Burr. 

In the foregoing analysis of the debates and 
resolutions of Congress, and the recital of the part 
taken in them by Mr. Gallatin, attention has only 
been paid to such of the proceedings as concerned 
the interpretation of the Constitution or the forms 
of administration with which Mr. Gallatin inter- 
ested himself. From the day of his first appear- 
ance he commanded the attention and the respect 
of his fellows. The leadership of his party fell 
to him as of course. It was not grasped by him. 
He was never a partisan. He never waived his 


entire independence of judgment. His ingenuity 
and adroitness never tempted him to untenable 
positions. Hence his party followed him with 
implicit confidence. Yet while the debates of Con- 
gress, imperfectly reported as they seem to be in 
its annals, show the deference paid to him by the 
Republican leaders, and display the great share 
he took in the definition of powers and of admin- 
istration as now understood, his name is hardly 
mentioned in history. Jefferson and Madison 
became presidents of the United States. They, 
with Gallatin, formed the triumvirate which ruled 
the country for sixteen years. Gallatin was the 
youngest of the three. 1 To this political combina- 
tion Gallatin brought a knowledge of constitu- 
tional law equal to their own, a knowledge of in- 
ternational law superior to that of either, and a 
habit of practical administration of which they 
had no conception. The Republican party lost 
its chief when Gallatin left the House; from that 
day it floundered to its close. 

In the balance of opinion there are no certain 
weights and measures. The preponderance of 
causes cannot be precisely ascertained. The free- 
dom which the people of the United States enjoy 
to-day is not the work of any one party. Those 
who are descended from its original stock, and 
those whom its free institutions have since invited 
to full membership, owe that freedom to two causes : 

1 Jefferson was born in 1743, Madison in 1751, Gallatin in 


the one, formulated by Hamilton, a strong, central 
power, which, deriving its force from the people, 
maintains its authority at home and secures respect 
abroad; the other, the spirit of liberty which found 
expression in the famous declaration of the rights 
of man. This influence Jefferson represented. 
It taught the equality of man; not equality before 
the law alone, nor yet political equality, but that 
absolute freedom from class distinction which is 
true social equality; in a word, mutual respect. 
But for Hamilton we might be a handful of petty 
States, in discordant confederation or perpetual 
war ; but for Jefferson, a prey to the class jealousy 
which unsettles the social relations and threatens 
the political existence of European States. 




The material comfort of every people depends 
more immediately upon the correct management 
of its finances than upon any other branch of 
government. Haute finance, to use a French ex- 
pression for which there is no English equivalent, 
demands in its application the faculties of organi- 
zation and administration in their highest degree. 
The relations of money to currency and credit, 
and their relations to industry and agriculture, or 
in modern phrase of capital to labor, fall within 
its scope. The history of Erance, the nation which 
has best understood and applied true principles of 
finance, supplies striking examples of the benefits 
a finance minister of the first order renders to his 
country, and the dangers of false theories. The 
marvelous restoration of its prosperity by the 
genius of Colbert, the ruin caused by the malign 
sciolism of Law, are familiar to all students of 
political economy. Nor has the United States 
been less favored. The names of Morris, Hamil- 
ton, Gallatin, and Chase shine with equal lustre. 

Morris, the Financier of the Revolution, was 


called to the administration of the money depart- 
ment of the United States government when there 
was no money to administer. Before his appoint- 
ment as "Financier" the expenses of the govern- 
ment, military and civil, had been met by expedi- 
ents; by foreign loans, lotteries, and loan office 
certificates ; finally by continental money, or, more 
properly speaking, bills of credit emitted by au- 
thority of Congress and made legal tender by 
joint action of Congress and the several States. 
The relation of coin to paper in this motley cur- 
rency appears in the appendix to the "Journal of 
Congress ' for the year 1778, when the govern- 
ment paid out in fourteen issues of paper currency, 
1,154,842; in specie, $78,666; in French livres, 
S525. 1 The power of taxation was jealously 
withheld by the States, and Congress could not go 
beyond recommending to them to levy taxes for 
the withdrawal of the bills emitted by it for their 
quotas, pari passu with their issue. When the 
entire scheme of paper money failed, the necessary 
supplies for the army were levied in kind. In the 
spring of 1781 the affairs of the Treasury Depart- 
ment were investigated by a committee of Congress, 
and an attempt was made to ascertain the precise 
condition of the public debt. The amount of for- 
eign debt was approximately reached, but the re- 
cord of the domestic debt was inextricably in- 
volved, and never definitely discovered. Morris 
soon brought order out of this chaos. His plan 

1 Cents are omitted as confusing- figures. 


was to liquidate the public indebtedness in specie, 
and fund it in interest-bearing bonds. The Bank 
of North America was established, the notes of 
which were soon preferred to specie as a medium 
of exchange. Silver, then in general use as the 
measure of value, was adopted as the single stand- 
ard. The weight and pureness of the dollar were 
fixed by law. The dollar was made the unit of 
account and payment, and subdivisions were made 
in a decimal ratio. This was the dollar of our 
fathers. Gouverneur Morris, the assistant of the 
Financier, suggested the decimal computation, and 
Jefferson the dollar as the unit of account and 
payment. The board of treasury, which for ^.ve 
years had administered the finances in a bungling 
way, was dissolved by Congress in the fall of 1781, 
and Morris was left in sole control. Semi-annual 
statements of the public indebtedness were now 
begun. The expenses of the government were 
steadily and inflexibly cut down to meet the dimin- 
ishing income. A loan was negotiated in Holland, 
and, with the aid of Franklin, the amount of in- 
debtedness to France was established. 

The public debt on January 1, 1783, was $42,- 
000,375, of which $7,885,088 was foreign, bearing 
four and five percent, interest; and $34,115,290 
was held at home at six per cent. The total 
amount of interest was $2,415,956. No means 
were provided for the payment of either principal 
or interest. In July of the previous year Morris 
urged the wisdom of funding the public debt, in a 


masterly letter to the president of Congress. On 
December 16 a sinking fund was provided for by 
a resolution, which, though inadequate to the pur- 
pose, was at least a declaration of principle. In 
February, 1784, Morris notified Congress of his 
intended retirement from office. He may justly 
be termed the father of the American system of 
finance. In his administration he inflexibly main- 
tained the determination, with which he assumed 
the office, to apply the public funds to the purpose 
to which they were appropriated. He declared 
that he would "neither pay the interest of our 
debts out of the moneys which are called for to 
carry on the war, nor pay the expenses of the war 
from the funds which are called for to pay the 
interest of our debts." One new feature of Mor- 
ris's administration was the beginning of the sale 
of public lands. 

On the retirement of Mr. Morris, November, 
1784, a new board of treasury was charged with 
the administration of the finances, and continued 
in control until September 30, 1788, when a com- 
mittee, raised to examine into the affairs of the 
department, rendered a pitiful report of mis- 
management for which the board had not the ex- 
cuse of their predecessors during the war. They 
had only to observe the precepts which Morris 
had enunciated, and to follow the methods he had 
prescribed, with the aid of the assistants he had 
trained. But the taxes collected had not been 
covered into the Treasury by the receivers. Large 


sums advanced for secret service were not ac- 
counted for; and the entire system of responsibil- 
ity had been disregarded. John Adams attributed 
all the distresses at this period to "a downright 
ignorance of the nature of coin, credit and circula- 
tion ; " an ignorance not yet dispelled. More truly 
could he have said that our distresses arose from 
willful neglect of the principle of accountability in 
the public service. 

The first Congress under the new Constitution 
met at New York on March 4, 1789, but it was 
not until the autumn that the executive adminis- 
tration of the government was organized by the 
creation of the three departments : State, Treasury, 
and War. 

The bill establishing the Treasury Department 
passed Congress on September 2, 1789. Hamil- 
ton was appointed secretary by Washington on 
September 11. On September 21 the House di- 
rected the secretary to examine into and report a 
financial plan. On the assembling of Congress, 
June 14, 1790, Hamilton communicated to the 
House his first report, known as that on public 
credit. The boldness of Hamilton's plan startled 
and divided the country. Funding resolutions 
were introduced into the House. The first, rela- 
ting to the foreign debt, passed unanimously; the 
second, providing for the liquidation of the domes- 
tic obligations, was sharply debated, but in the 
end Hamilton's scheme was adopted. The resolu- 
tions providing for the assumption of the state 


debts, which he embodied in his report, aroused 
an opj)osition still more formidable, and it was 
not until August 4 that by political machinery this 
part of his plan received the assent of Congress. 
To provide for the interest on the debt and the 
expenses of the government, the import and navi- 
gation duties were raised to yield the utmost rev- 
enue available; but, in the temper of Congress, 
the excise law was not pressed at this session. 
The secretary had securely laid the foundations 
of his policy. Time and sheer necessity would 
compel the completion of his work in essential 
accord with his original design. The President's 
message at the opening of the winter session added 
greatly to the prestige of Hamilton's policy by 
calling attention to the great prosperity of the 
country and the remarkable rise in public credit. 
The excise law, modified to apply to distilled spir- 
its, passed the House in January. The principle 
of a direct tax was admitted. On December 14, 
1790, in obedience to an order of the House re- 
quiring the secretary to report further provision 
for the public credit, Hamilton communicated his 
plans for a national bank. Next in order came the 
establishment of a national mint. Thus in two 
sessions of Congress, and in the space of little more 
than a year from the time when he took charge of 
the Treasury, Hamilton conceived and carried to 
successful conclusion an entire scheme of finance. 

One more measure in the comprehensive system 
of public credit crowned the solid structure of 


which the funding of the debt was the corner- 
stone. This was the establishment of the sinking 
fund for the redemption of the debt. Hamilton 
conformed his plan to the maxim, which, to use 
his words, "has been supposed capable of giving 
immortality to credit, namely, that with the crea- 
tion of debts should be incorporated the means 
of extinguishment, which are twofold. 1st. The 
establishing, at the time of contracting a debt, 
funds for the reimbursement of the principal, as 
well as for the payment of interest within a deter- 
minate period. 2d. The making it a part of the 
contract, that the fund so established shall be in- 
violably applied to the object." The ingenuity 
and skill with which this master of financial science 
managed the Treasury Department for more than 
five years need no word of comment. Nor do 
they fall within the scope of this outline of the 
features of his policy. His reports are the text- 
book of American political economy. Whoever 
would grasp its principles must seek them in this 
limpid source, and study the methods he applied 
to revenue and loans. Well might Webster say 
of him in lofty praise, "He smote the rock of na- 
tional resources, and abundant streams of revenue 
gushed forth ; he touched the dead corpse of Pub- 
lic Credit, and it sprung upon its feet." 

On the resignation of Hamilton, January 31, 
1795, Washington invited Wolcott, who was fami- 
liar with the views of Hamilton and on such inti- 
mate terms with him that he could always have 


his advice in any difficult emergency, to take the 
post. Wolcott had been connected with the de- 
partment from its organization, first as auditor, 
afterwards as comptroller of the Treasury. He 
held the Treasury until nearly the end of Adams's 
administration. On November 8, 1800, upon the 
open breach between Mr. Adams and the Hamil- 
ton wing of the Federal party, Wolcott, whose 
sympathies were wholly with his old chief, ten- 
dered his resignation, to take effect at the close of 
the year. On December 31 Mr. Samuel Dexter 
was appointed to administer the department. But 
the days of the Federal party were now numbered : 
it fell of its own dissensions, " wounded in the 
house of its friends." 

There is little in the administration of the 
finances by Wolcott to attract comment. He man- 
aged the details of the department with integrity 
and skill. On his retirement a committee of the 
House on the condition of the Treasury was ap- 
pointed. No similar examination had been made 
since May 22, 1794. On January 28, 1801, Mr. 
Otis, chairman of the committee, submitted the 
results of the investigation in an unanimous report 
that the business of the Treasury Department had 
been conducted with regularity, fidelity, and a 
regard to economy; that the disbursements of 
money had always been made pursuant to law, and 
generally that the financial concerns of the country 
had been left by the late secretary in a state of 
good order and prosperity. During his six years 


of administration of the finances Wolcott negoti- 
ated six loans, amounting in all to $2,820,000. 
The emergencies were extraordinary, — the ex- 
penses of the suppression of the Whiskey Insur- 
rection in 1794, and the sum required to effect a 
treaty of peace with Algiers in 1795. To fund 
these sums Mr. Wolcott had recourse to an expe- 
dient which marked an era in American finance. 
This was the creation of new stock, subscribed for 
at home. No loan had been previously placed by 
the government among its own citizens. Between 
1795 and 1798, four and a half, five, and six per 
cent, stocks were created. In 1798 the condition 
of the country was embarrassing. There was a 
threatening *prospect of war. Foreign loans were 
precarious and improvident ; the market rate of 
interest was eight per cent. Under these circum- 
stances an eight per cent, stock was created, not 
redeemable until 1809. An Act of March 3, 
1795, provided for vesting in the sinking fund the 
surplus revenues of each year. 

In the formation of the first Republican cabinet 
Mr. Gallatin was obviously Mr. Jefferson's first 
choice for the Treasury. The appointment was 
nevertheless attended with some difficulties of a 
political and party nature. The paramount im- 
portance of the department was a legacy of Hamil- 
ton's genius. Its possession was the Federalist 
stronghold, and the Senate, which held the con- 
firming power, was still controlled by a Federalist 
majority. To them Mr. Gallatin was more obnox- 


ious than any other of the Republican leaders. 
In the few days that he held a seat in the Senate 
(1793) he offended Hamilton, and aroused the 
hostility of the friends of the secretary by a call 
for information as to the condition of the Trea- 
sury. As member of Congress in 1796 he ques- 
tioned Hamilton's policy, and during Adams's 
entire administration was a perpetual thorn in the 
sides of Hamilton's successors in the department. 
The day after his election, February 18, 1801, 
Mr. Jefferson communicated to Mr. Gallatin the 
names of the gentlemen he had already determined 
upon for his cabinet, and tendered him the Trea- 
sury. The only alternative was Madison; but he, 
with all his reputation as a statesman and party 
leader, was without skill as a financier, and in the 
debate on the Funding Bill in 1790 had shown 
his ignorance in the impracticability of his plans. 
If Jefferson ever entertained the thought of nomi- 
nating Madison to the Treasury, political necessity 
absolutely forbade it. That necessity Mr. Galla- 
tin, by his persistent assaults on the financial pol- 
icy of the Federalists, had himself created, and 
he alone of the Republican leaders was competent 
to carry out the reforms in the administration of 
the government, and to contrive the consequent 
reduction in revenue and taxation, which were 
cardinal points of Republican policy. Public opin- 
ion had assigned Gallatin to the post, and the 
newspapers announced his nomination before Mr. 
Jefferson was elected, and before he had given 


any indication of his purpose. To his wife Mr. 
Gallatin expressed some doubt whether his abilities 
were equal to the office, and whether the Senate 
would confirm him, and said, certainly with sin- 
cerity, 4 that he would not be sorry nor hurt in his 
feelings if his nomination should be rejected, for 
exclusively of the immense responsibility, labor, 
etc., attached to the intended office, another plan 
which would be much more agreeable to him and 
to her had been suggested, not by his political 
friends, but by his New York friends.' He was 
by no means comfortable in his finances, and he 
had already formed a plan of studying law and 
removing to New York. He had made up his 
mind to leave the western country, which would 
necessarily end his congressional career. His wife 
was forlorn in his absence, and suffered so many 
hardships in her isolated residence that he felt no 
reluctance to the change. To one of his wife's 
family he wrote at this time : — 

" As a political situation, the place of secretary of the 
treasury is doubtless more eligible and congenial to my 
habits ; but it is more laborious and responsible than any 
other, and the same industry which will be necessary to 
fulfill its duties, applied to another object, would at the 
end of two years have left me in the possession of a pro- 
fession which I might have exercised either in Phila- 
delphia or New York. But our plans are all liable to 
uncertainty, and I must now cheerfully undertake that 
which had never been the object of my ambition or 


Well might he hesitate as he witnessed the dis- 
tress which had overtaken the great party which 
for twelve years had held the posts of political 
honor. Fortunately, perhaps for himself and cer- 
tainly for his party and the country, the proposi- 
tion came at a time when he had definitively de- 
termined upon a change of career. His situation 
was difficult. The hostility of the Federal sena- 
tors, and the great exertions which were being 
made to defeat the appointment, led him to the 
opinion that, if presented on March 4, it would 
be rejected. There was the alternative of delay 
until after that date, which would involve a post- 
ponement of the confirmation until the meeting of 
Congress in December, but there was no certainty 
that it would then be ratified. Meanwhile he 
would be compelled to remove to Washington at 
some sacrifice and expense. He therefore at first 
positively refused u to come in on any terms but 
a confirmation by the Senate first given." He was 
finally induced to comply with the general wish of 
his political friends. The appointment was with- 
held by the President that the feeling in the Sen- 
ate might be judged from its action on the rest of 
the nominations submitted. They were all ap- 
proved, and Mr. Dexter consented to hold over 
until his successor should be appointed. Thus 
Mr. Gallatin's convenience was entirely consulted. 
He remained in Washington a few days to confer 
with the President as to the general conduct of 
the administration, and on March 14 set out for 


Fayette to put his affairs in order and to bring 
his wife and family to Washington. On May 14 
Jefferson wrote to Macon, "The arrival of Mr. 
Gallatin yesterday completed the organization of 
our administration." 

Mr. Gallatin soon realized the magnitude of his 
task. He did nothing by halves. To whatever 
work he had to do, he brought the best of his fac- 
ulty. No man ever better deserved the epithet of 
•'thorough." He searched till he found the prin- 
ciple of every measure with which he had concern 
and understood every detail of its application. 
This perfect knowledge of every subject which he 
investigated was the secret of his political success. 
As a committee man, he was incomparable. No 
one could be better equipped for the direction of 
the Treasury Department than he, but he was not 
satisfied with direction; he would manage also; 
and he went to the work with untiring energy. 
A quarter of a century later he said of it, in a 
letter to his son, "To fill that office in the manner 
I did, and as it ought to be filled, is a most labo- 
rious task and labor of the most tedious kind. To 
fit myself for it, to be able to understand thor- 
oughly, to embrace and control all its details, took 
from me, during the two first years I held it, 
every hour of the day and many of the night and 
had nearly brought on a pulmonary complaint. I 
filled the office twelve years and was fairly worn 

Mr. Gallatin first drew public attention to his 


knowledge of finance in the Pennsylvania legisla- 
ture. An extract from his memorandum of his 
three years' service gives the best account of this 
incident. In it appear the carefully matured con- 
victions which he inflexibly maintained. 

" The report of the Committee of Ways and Means 
of the session 1790-1791 (presented by Gurney, chair- 
man) was entirely prepared by me, known to be so, and 
laid the foundation of my reputation. I was quite as- 
tonished at the general encomiums bestowed upon it, 
and was not at all aware that I had done so well. It 
was perspicuous and comprehensive ; but I am confident 
that its true merit, and that which gained me the general 
confidence, was its being founded in strict justice with- 
out the slightest regard to party feelings or popular 
prejudices. The principles assumed, and which were 
carried into effect, were the immediate reimbursement 
and extinction of the state paper money, the immediate 
payment in specie of all the current expenses or war- 
rants on the Treasury (the postponement and uncer- 
tainty of which had given rise to shameful and corrupt 
speculations), and provision for discharging, without de- 
falcation, every debt and engagement previously recog- 
nized by the State. In conformity with this, the State 
paid to its creditors the difference between the nominal 
amount of the state debt assumed by the United States 
and the rate at which it was funded by the act of 

" The proceeds of the public lands, together with the 
arrears, were the fund which not only discharged all the 
public debts, but left a large surplus. The apprehension 
that this would be squandered by the Legislature was 


the principal inducement for chartering the Bank of 
Pennsylvania with a capital of two millions of dollars, 
of which the State subscribed one half. This and simi- 
lar subsequent investments enabled Pennsylvania to de- 
fray out of the dividends all the expenses of govern- 
ment without any direct tax during the forty ensuing 
years, and till the adoption of the system of internal 
improvement, which required new resources." 

This report was printed in the Journal of the 
House, February 8, 1791. The next year he made 
a report on the same subject which was printed 
February 22, 1792. 

But his equal grasp of larger subjects was shown 
in his sketch of the finances of the United States, 
which he published in November, 1796. It pre- 
sents under three sections the revenues, the ex- 
penses, and the debts of the United States, each 
subdivided into special heads. The arguments are 
supported by elaborate tabular statements. No 
such exhaustive examination had been made of the 
state of the American finances. The one cardinal 
principle which he laid down was the extinguish- 
ment of debt. He severely criticised Hamilton's 
methods of funding, and outlined those which he 
himself later applied. He charged upon Hamil- 
ton direct violations of law in the application of 
money, borrowed as principal, to the payment of 
interest on that principal. The public funds he 
regarded as three in number: 1st, the sinking 
fund; 2d, the surplus fund; 3d, the general fund. 

In July, 1800, Mr. Gallatin published a second 


pamphlet, "Views of the Public Debt, Receipts, 
and Expenditures of the United States," the object 
of the inquiry being to ascertain the result of the 
fiscal operations of the government under the Con- 
stitution. The entire field of American finance is 
examined from its beginning. He severely con- 
demns the mode of assumption of the state debts 
in Hamilton's original plan, and no doubt his 
strictures are technically correct. The debts as- 
sumed for debtor States were not due by the 
United States, nor was there any moral reason 
for their assumption. But the assumption was 
sound financial policy, and all the cost to the 
nation was amply repaid by the order which their 
assumption drew out of chaos, and the vigor given 
to the general credit by the strengthening of that 
of its parts. The course of the Federalists and 
Republicans on this question shows that the former 
had at heart the welfare of all the States, while 
the latter confined their interest to their own body 

Had Mr. Gallatin never penned another line on 
finance, these two remarkable papers would place 
him in the first rank of economists and statisti- 
cians. There are no errors in his figures, no flaws 
in his reasoning, no faults in his deductions. In 
construction and detail, as parts of a complete 
financial system of administration, they are beyond 
criticism. Opinions may differ as to the ends 
sought, but not as to the means to those ends. 

For a long period Mr. Gallatin found no more 


time for essays; lie was now to apply his methods. 
These may be traced in his printed treasury re- 
ports, which are lucid and instructive. He was 
appointed to the Treasury on May 14, 1801, as 
appears by the official record in the State Depart- 
ment. Before he entered on the duties of the 
office he submitted to Mr. Jefferson, March 14, 
1801, some rough sketches of the financial situa- 
tion, and suggested the general outlines of his 
policy. He insisted upon a curtailment in the 
appropriations for the naval and military establish- 
ments, the only saving adequate to the repeal of 
all internal duties; and upon the discharge of the 
foreign debt within the period of its obligation. 
He estimated that the probable receipts and ex- 
penditures for the year 1801 would leave a surplus 
of more than two millions of dollars applicable to 
the redemption of the debt. 

On taking personal charge of the Treasury De- 
partment, his first business was to get rid of the 
arrears of current business which had accumulated 
since the retirement of Wolcott; his next, to per- 
fect the internal revenue system, so far as it could 
be remedied without new legislation. The entire 
summer of 1801 was passed in "arranging, or 
rather procuring correct statements amongst the 
Treasury documents," a task of such difficulty 
that he was unwilling, on November 15, to arrive 
at an estimate of the revenue within half a million, 
or to commit himself to any opinion as to the 
feasibility of abolishing the internal revenues. In 


his "notes" submitted to Jefferson upon the draft 
of his first message, there are several passages of 
interest which show Mr. Gallatin's logical habit 
of searching out economic causes. Under the 
head of finances, he remarks, "The revenue has 
increased more than in the same ratio with popu- 
lation: 1st, because our wealth has increased in 
a greater ratio than population; 2d, because the 
seaports and towns, which consume imported arti- 
cles much more than the country, have increased 
in a greater proportion." The final paragraph in 
these "notes' is a synopsis of his entire scheme 
of administration. 

" There is but one subject not mentioned in the mes- 
sage which I feel extremely anxious to see recommended. 
It is generally that Congress should adopt such meas- 
ures as will effectually guard against misapplications of 
public moneys, by making specific appropriations when- 
ever practicable ; by providing against the application of 
moneys drawn from the Treasury under an appropria- 
tion to any other object or to any greater amount than 
that for which they have been drawn ; by limiting dis- 
cretionary power in the application of that money ; 
whether by heads of department or by any other agents ; 
and by rendering every person who receives public 
moneys from the Treasury as immediately, promptly, 
and effectually accountable to the accounting officer 
(the comptroller) as practicable. The great characteris- 
tic, the flagrant vice, of the late administration has been 
total disregard of laws, and application of public moneys 
by the Department to objects for which they were not 


Outlines for a system of specific appropriations 
were inclosed. 

That the mission of Jefferson's administration 
was the reduction of the debt, Gallatin set forth 
in his next letter of November 16, 1801. "I am 
firmly of opinion that if the present administration 
and Congress do not take the most effective mea- 
sures for that object, the debt will be entailed on 
us and the ensuing generations, together with all 
the systems which support it, and which it sup- 
ports." On the other hand he says, "If this ad- 
ministration shall not reduce taxes, they never 
will be permanently reduced." To reduce both 
the debt and the taxes was as much a political as 
a financial problem. To solve it required the re- 
duction to a minimum of the departments of War 
and Marine. But Mr. Jefferson was not a prac- 
tical statesman. His individuality was too strong 
for much surrender of opinion. He stated the 
case very mildly when he wrote in his retirement 
that he sometimes differed in opinion from some 
of his friends, from those whose views were as 
"pure and as sound as his own." It was not his 
habit to consult his entire cabinet except on gen- 
eral measures. The heads of each department set 
their views before him separately. Under this 
system Mr. Gallatin was never able to realize that 
harmonious interdependence of departments and 
subordination of ways to means which were his 
ideal of cabinet administration. 

The successful application of Mr. Gallatin's 


plan would have subordinated all the executive 
departments to the Treasury. The theory was per- 
fect, but it took no account of the greed of office, 
the jealousies of friends, the opposition of enemies, 
and the unknown factor of foreign relations. A 
speck on the horizon would cloud the peaceful 
prospect, a hostile threat derange the intricate 
machinery by which the delicate financial balance 
was maintained. Mr. Gallatin was fast realizing 
the magnitude of his undertaking, in which he 
was greatly embarrassed by the difficulty of find- 
ing faithful examining clerks, on whose correct- 
ness and fidelity a just settlement of all accounts 
depends. The number of independent offices at- 
tached to the Treasury made the task still more 
arduous. He wrote to Jefferson at this time, "It 
will take me twelve months before I can thoroughly 
understand every detail of all these several offices. 
Current business and the more general and impor- 
tant duties of the office do not permit me to learn 
the lesser details, but incidentally and by degrees. 
Until I know them all I dare not touch the ma- 
chine." One of the acquirements which he con- 
sidered indispensable for a secretary of the trea- 
sury was a "thorough knowledge of book-keeping." 
The recollection of his persistent demands for in- 
formation from Hamilton and Wolcott during his 
congressional career would have stung the con- 
science of an ordinary man. But Gallatin was 
not an ordinary man. He asked nothing of others 
which he himself was not willing to perform. His 


ideal was high, but he reached its summit. It 
seems almost as if, in his persistent demand that 
money accountability should be imposed by law 
upon the Treasury Department, he sought to set 
the measure of his own duty, while in the re- 
quirement that it should be extended to the other 
departments, he pledged himself to the perfect 
accomplishment of that duty in his own. 

In his first report to Congress, 1 made December 
18, 1801, Mr. Gallatin submitted his financial 
estimate for the year 1802. 


Imposts . .$9,500,000 



Internal Rev. 650,000 


| . 450,000 


Int. on debts . $7,100,000 

Civil List . . 980.000 

Army . . . 1,420,000 

Navy . . . 1,100,000 


Mr. Wolcott, in his last report to the Commis- 
sioners of the Sinking Fund, stated the amount in 
the Treasury to its credit at 1500,718. Mr. Gal- 
latin denied that there was any such surplus, but 
said that instead of a credit balance the treasury 
books showed a deficiency of $930,128 on the 
aggregate revenue from the establishment of the 
government to the close of the year 1799. Elliott, 
in his "Funding System," said concerning this 
once vexed controversy, that it was difficult to 
reconcile such a diversity of opinion on so intricate 
a subject; and concerning the official statements 

1 The first Annual Report of the Secretary of the Treasury. 
This was under the Supplementary Treasury Act. 


of Hamilton and Wolcott, that it was hardly to 
be credited that they were so superficial or imper- 
fect. Mr. Gallatin himself furnishes the apology 
that the difference might arise from "entries made 
or omitted on erroneous principles." To the Fed- 
eral financiers the palliation was as offensive as 
the charge, and rankled long and sore. If it were 
not possible, when Elliott made an examination, to 
arrive at the precise facts, it is certainly now a 
secret as secure from discovery as the lost sibyl- 
line leaves. 

Mr. Gallatin stated the debt of the United 
States — 

On January 1, 1801, at . . $80,161,207.60 
On January 1, 1802, at . . 77,881,890.29 

Reduction $2,279,317.31 

This difference was the amount of principal paid 
during the year 1801, the result of the manage- 
ment of his predecessors. On December 18, 1801, 
Mr. Gallatin entered upon an examination of the 
time in which the total debt might be discharged, 
and showed that, by the annual application of 
$7,300,000 to the principal and interest the debt 
would in eight years, i. e. on January 1, 1810, be 
reduced (by the payment of $32,289,000 of the 
principal) to 845,592,739, and that the same an- 
nual sum of 87,300,000 would discharge the whole 
debt by the year 1817. The revenues of the Union 
he found sufficient to defray all the current ex- 
penses. In his report to Congress at the begin- 



ning of the session lie designated this sum of 
87,300,000 to be set aside from the revenues, and 
Congress gave the requisite authority. An extract 
from a tabular statement submitted to the House 
of Representatives, April 16, 1810, will show how 
nearly Mr. Gallatin approached the result at which 
he aimed, and the nature of the embarrassment he 
encountered on the path. 


Amount of 
Public Debt 
January 1st. 



Debt Con- 











* Louisiana purchase. 

1802 . 

. . $80,712,632.25 Decrease . . . $36,912,764.51 

1810 . 

. . 53J72,302.32 Increase . . . 9,372,434.58 

$27,540,329.93 Decrease in 8 yrs. $27,540,329.93 

From this it appears that, notwithstanding the 
extraordinary increase of the principal by the 
amount of the Louisiana purchase, Mr. Gallatin 
contrived a reduction of $27,540,329. But if to 
this be added the true reduction for the vear 1803, 
namely, the difference between the Louisiana debt, 
$15,000,000, and the increase for that year, by rea- 
son of that purchase, $9,372,434, say $5,627,565, 
the reduction is found to be, and but for that dis- 
turbing cause would have reached, $33,167,895, 


a sum exceeding by $878,895 that estimated by 
Mr. Gallatin in his report of 1801 as the amount 
of eight years' reduction, namely, $32,289,000. 

The ways and means of this remarkable example 
of financial management appear in the following 
extracts from Elliott's synoptical statement (table 
given on page 194). 

The purchase of Louisiana was the extraordi- 
nary financial measure of Jefferson's first presi- 
dential term. Though the new obligation for the 
consideration money, fifteen millions of dollars, 
was a large sum in proportion to the total existing 
debt of the United States, it did not in the least 
derange Gallatin's plan of funding and reduction, 
but was brought without friction within his gen- 
eral scheme. With the terms of the contract 
Gallatin had nothing to do. They were arranged 
by Livingston and Monroe, the American commis- 
sioners; the intervention of the houses of Hope 
and the Barings being a part of the understanding 
between the commissioners and the French govern- 
ment. These bankers engaged to make the money 
payments and take six per cent, stock of the United 
States at seventy-eight and one half cents on the 
dollar. With this price Mr. Gallatin does not 
seem to have been satisfied, though of course he 
interposed no objection to the terms ; but to Jeffer- 
son he wrote, August 31, 1803, that the low price 
at which that stock had been sold-, was u not as- 
cribable to the state of public credit nor to any 
act of your administration, and particularly of the 





I— I 






















*c CT 







J* 00 

o 3 



O o 


r— b- 






c ffl O 







il — cc 


■C ci 


* V 1 





5 2J 





5 x 


C ;_ . 


.- -r 


° 3 ■ 
cc =o ^J 


Ii5 QC 
Ol »C 


C - 


*C " 




0-1 I- 







.2 » 


■C X 



^~ ^ 


— "S 


*0 -f 



if; ic 


f 3 d 


cr -r 





— — * 














ks as 










X 5J 


S x 


55 i-5 


■** cs" 














r^ cy 




2 s 




t- 3 


»r; f— < 




aj o> 

- o> 





■-I e 

»— < 











C~ ^0 































c . 


"*" r-l 



C t. 


o o 









•— • 












i— i 




ss 1 


— IC I 

C-X ; 




IS 1 


Cl sC 




l* 8 


c a c 



- t-> 


o 3 







c c 

c: S; 
if; t^ 



X o 
C". X 













x cr. 


L~ CC 

cr t~ 


X (^ 

■C CM 


CM C". 







if; ^; 

•— (~ 






cc it 




IC cc 





















t— 1^ 






cr I~ 


CS ^~ 















c • 



c: t. 

*r v- 



a S 


™" ^-< 































"5 2£ 


cr cm^ 






«— ^^ 




• • 



• * 








• 3 






cc ^ 









1 1 



c o 




>- >-. 



Cs> O 




01 01 

















2 CD 












" • 






• • 




• 00 





_ u 

' s 





to — 

♦^ t3 







c X 




1 1 




OC x 



ed 3 












Treasury Department; " and he adds in a post- 
script, "at that period our threes were in England 
worth one per cent, more at market than the Eng- 

The arrangements being completed, Jefferson 
called Congress together in October, 1803, for a 
ratification of the treaty; the commissioners, by 
virtue of the authority granted them, had already 
guaranteed the advance by the Barings of ten mil- 
lion livres ($2,000,000). On October 25, 1803, 
Gallatin made a report to Congress on the state 
of the finances. It showed a reduction of the 
public debt in the two and one half years of his 
management, April 1, 1801, to September 30, 
1803, of 812,702,404. The only question to be 
considered was whether any additional revenues 
were wanted to provide for the new debt which 
would result from the purchase of Louisiana. 

The sum called for by treaty, fifteen millions, 
consisted of two items: 1st, $11,250,000 payable 
to the government of France in a stock bearing an 
interest of six per cent, payable in Europe, and 
the principal to be discharged at the Treasury of 
the United States; 2d, a sum which could not 
exceed, but might fall short of, $3,750,000, pay- 
able in specie at the Treasury of the United States 
to American citizens having claims of a certain 
description upon the government of France. 

It is interesting here to note Mr. Gallatin's dis- 
tinction between the place of payment of interest 
and of principal as a new departure in American 


finance. The principal and interest of foreign 
loans had up to that period been paid abroad. 
But a United States stock was an obligation of a 
different character and properly payable at home. 
In the large negotiations which Secretary Chase 
had in 1862 with the Treasury Note Committee of 
the Associated Banks, 1 this policy was matter of 
grave debate. The determined American pride 
of Mr. Chase prevailed, and both the principal 
and interest of the loans created were made pay- 
able at the Treasury of the United States. These 
may be small matters in their financial result, but 
are grave points in national policy. 

The only financial legislation necessary to carry 
out the Louisiana purchase was a provision that 
$700,000 of the duties on merchandise and ton- 
nage, a sum sufficient to pay the interest on the 
new debt, be added to the annual permanent ap- 
propriation for the sinking fund, making a sum of 
88,000,000 in all. 

The new debt would, Gallatin said, neither im- 
pede nor retard the payment of the principal of 
the old debt; and the fund would be sufficient, 
besides paying the interest on both, to discharge 
the principal of the old debt before the year 1818, 
and of the new, within one year and a half after 

1 These were the banks of New York, Boston, Philadelphia, 
and Baltimore. Seven presidents formed the committee. John 
A. Stevens of New York was chairman, by request of the Secre- 
tary of the Treasury. The other members were named by him. 
The sum advanced to the government was one hundred and fifty 
millions of dollars in coin. 


that year. In this expectation he relied solely on 
the maintenance of the revenue at the amount of 
the year 1802, and in no way depended on its 
probable increase as a result of neutrality in the 
European war; nor on any augmentation by rea- 
son of increase of population or wealth, nor the 
effect which the opening of the Mississippi to free 
navigation might be expected to have on the sales 
of public lands and the general resources of the 

In his report of December 9, 1805, Mr. Galla- 
tin reviewed the results of his first four years of 
service, April 1, 1801, to March 31, 1805. 


Duties on tonnage and importation of 

foreign merchandise $45,174,837.22 

From all other sources 5,492,629.82 



Civil list and miscellaneous .... $3,786,094.79 
Intercourse with foreign nations . . 1,071,437.84 
Military establishment and Indian de- 
partment 4,405,192.26 

Naval establishment 4,842,635.15 

Interest on foreign debt 16,278,700.95 

Reimbursement of debt from surplus 

revenue 19,281,446.57 


The Louisiana purchase and the admirable man- 
ner of its financial arrangement were important 


factors in Jefferson's reelection. Mr. Gallatin 
was now sure of four years, at least, for the prose- 
cution of his plan of redemption of the public 
debt. Estimating that with the increase of popu- 
lation at the rate of thirty-five per cent, in ten 
years, and the corresponding growth of the rev- 
enue, he could count upon a net annual surplus of 
$5,500,000, he now proposed to convert the sev- 
eral outstanding obligations into a six per cent, 
stock amounting, January 1, 1809, to less than 
forty millions of dollars, which the continued an- 
nual appropriation of $8,000,000 would, besides 
paying the interest on the Louisiana debt, reim- 
burse within a period of less than seven years, or 
before the end of the year 1815. After that year 
no other incumbrance would remain on the revenue 
than the interest and reimbursement of the Lou- 
isiana stock, the last payment of which in the 
year 1821 would complete the final extinguishment 
of the public debt. The conversion act was passed 
February 1, 1807, and books were opened on July 
1 following. On February 27, 1807, Mr. Galla- 
tin made a special report on the state of the debt 
from 1801 to 1807, showing a diminution, notwith- 
standing the Louisiana purchase, of $14,260,000. 

In the summer of 1807 war with England 
seemed inevitable. Gallatin had the satisfaction 
to report a full treasury, — the amount of specie 
October 7, 1807, reaching over eight and one half 
millions, — and an annual unappropriated surplus, 
which could be confidently relied upon, of at least 


three millions of dollars. On this subject his re- 
marks in the light of subsequent history are of 
extreme interest. While refraining from any re- 
commendations as to the application of this sur- 
plus, either to " measures of security and de- 
fense," or to "internal improvements which, while 
increasing and diffusing the national wealth, will 
strengthen the bonds of union," as "subjects which 
do not fall within the province of the Treasury 
Department," he proceeds to consider the advan- 
tage of an accumulation in the Treasury. In this 
report he rises with easy flight far above the purely 
financial atmosphere into the higher plane of po- 
litical economy. 

" A previous accumulation of treasure in time of 
peace might in a great degree defray the extraordinary 
expenses of war and diminish the necessity of either 
loans or additional taxes. It would provide during pe- 
riods of prosperity for those adverse events to which 
every nation is exposed, instead of increasing the bur- 
thens of the people at a time when they are least able 
to bear them, or of impairing, by anticipations, the re- 
sources of ensuing generations. . . . 

" That the revenue of the United States will in sub- 
sequent years be considerably impaired by a war neither 
can nor ought to be concealed. It is, on the contrary, 
necessary, in order to be prepared for the crisis, to take 
an early view of the subject, and to examine the re- 
sources which should be selected for supplying the de- 
ficiency and defraying the extraordinary expenses. . . . 

" Whether taxes should be raised to a greater amount 
or loans be altogether relied on for defraying the ex- 
penses of the war, is the next subject of consideration. 


" Taxes are paid by the great mass of the citizens, 
and immediately affect almost every individual of the 
community. Loans are supplied by capital previously 
accumulated by a few individuals. In a country where 
the resources of individuals are not generally and ma- 
terially affected by the war, it is practicable and wise to 
raise by taxes the greater part at least of the annual 
supplies. The credit of the nation may also from vari- 
ous circumstances be at times so far impaired as to have 
no resource but taxation. In both respects the situa- 
tion of the United States is totally dissimilar. . . . 

" An addition to the debt is doubtless an evil, but ex- 
perience having now shown with what rapid progress 
the revenue of the Union increases in time of peace, 
with what facility the debt, formerly contracted, has in a 
few years been reduced, a hope may confidently be en- 
tertained that all the evils of the war will be temporary 
and easily repaired, and that the return of peace will, 
without any effort, afford ample resources for reimburs- 
ing whatever may have been borrowed during the war." 

He then enumerates the several branches of 
revenue which might be selected to provide for 
the interest of war loans and to cover deficiencies. 
First, a considerable increase of the duties on im- 
portations ; and here he says : — 

" Without resorting to the example of other nations, 
experience has proven that this source of revenue is in 
the United States the most productive, the easiest to 
collect, and the least burthensome to the great mass of 
the people. 2d. Indirect taxes, however ineligible, will 
doubtless be cheerfully paid as war taxes, if necessary. 
3d. Direct taxes are liable to a particular objection aris- 


ing from unavoidable inequality produced by the gen- 
eral rule of the Constitution. Whatever differences 
may exist between the relative wealth and consequent 
ability of paying of the several States, still the tax must 
necessarily be raised in proportion to their relative pop- 

The Orders in Council of November 11, 1807, 
avowedly adopted to compel all nations to give up 
their maritime trade or accept it through Great 
Britain, reached Washington on December 18, 

1807, and were immediately replied to by the 
United States by an embargo act on December 22. 
The history of the political effect of this measure 
is beyond the limits of this economic study, and 
will be touched upon in a later chapter, but the 
result of its application upon the Treasury falls 
within this analysis of the methods of Mr. Gal- 
latin's administration. 

On December 18 Gallatin wrote Jefferson that 
"in every point of view, privations, sufferings, 
revenue, effect on the enemy, politics at home, 
etc.," he preferred "war to a permanent embargo; " 
nevertheless he was called upon to draft the bill. 
The correctness of Mr. Gallatin's prevision was 
soon apparent. In his report of December 10, 

1808, he reviewed the general effect of the mea- 
sure. "The embargo has brought into and kept 
in the United States almost all the floating prop- 
erty of the nation. And whilst the depreciated 
value of domestic product increases the difficulty 
of raising a considerable revenue by internal taxes, 


at no former time has there been so much specie, 
so much redundant unemployed capital in the 
country." Again stating his opinion that loans 
should be principally relied on in case of war, he 
closed with the following words: "The high price 
of public stocks (and indeed of all species of 
stocks), the reduction of the public debt, the un- 
impaired credit of the general government, and 
the large amount of existing bank stock in the 
United States [estimated by him at forty millions 
of dollars], leave no doubt of the practicability 
of obtaining the necessary loans on reasonable 

The receipts into the Treasury during the 

year ending September, 1808, the last of 

Jefferson's administration, were . . $17,952,419.90 
The disbursements during the same period 

were 12,635,275.46 

Excess of receipts $5,317,144.44 

And the specie in Treasury, October 1, 

1808 $13,846,717.82 

From January 1, 1791, to January 1, 1808, the 
debt had fallen from 175,169,974 to $57,023,192; 
during the first ten years it had increased nearly 
seven millions of dollars, in the last eight it had 
been diminished more than twenty millions and 
Louisiana had been purchased. Thus closed the 
second term of Gallatin's service. Happen what 
might, the credit of the country could not be in 
a better situation to meet the exigencies of a war. 


A letter from Mr. Jefferson to Mr. Gallatin after 
the close of this administration, andt'-f^allatin's 
reply, show the entire accord between them upon 
the one cardinal point of financial policy. Mr. 

^ Mbi'.ti- 
cello, "I consider the fortunes of our repu 

Jefferson, October 11, 1809, wroW4^p ; Mbnti- 

sider the fortunes of our repul#i& as J 

depending in an eminent degree on the extinction &j ^ 
of the public debt before we engage in any war ; 
because, that done, we shall have revenue enough 
to improve our country in peace and defend it 
in war, without incurring either new taxes or 
new loans." And urging Gallatin to retain his 
post, he closed with the striking words, "I hope, 
then, you will abandon entirely the idea you ex- 
pressed to me, and that you will consider the eight 
years to come as essential to your political career. 
I should certainly consider any earlier day of 
your retirement as the most inauspicious day 
our new government has ever seen." To which 
Gallatin replied from Washington, on Novem- 
ber 10 : — 

" The reduction of the public debt was certainly the 
principal object in bringing me into office, and our suc- 
cess in that respect has been due both to the joint and 
continued efforts of the several branches of government 
and to the prosperous situation of the country. I am 
sensible that the work cannot progress under adverse cir- 
cumstances. If the United States shall be forced into a 
state of actual war, all the resources of the country must 
be called forth to make it efficient and new loans will un- 
doubtedly be wanted. But whilst peace is preserved, the 


revenue will, at all events, be sufficient to pay the interest 
and to defray necessary expenses. I do not ask that in 
the present situation of our foreign relations the debt be 
reduced, but only that it shall not be increased so long 
as we are not at war." 

In his eight years of service under Jefferson, 
Gallatin had not found the Treasury Department 
a bed of roses. Under Madison there was an 
undue proportion of thorns. 

It has been shown that the entire reliance of 
Gallatin for the expenses of government was on 
customs, tonnage dues, and land sales. The effect 
of the Embargo Act was soon felt in the falling 
off of importations, and consequently in the rev- 
enue from this source. Mr. Gallatin felt the 
strain in the spring of 1809; and on March 18, 
soon after Mr. Madison's inauguration, he gave 
notice to the commissioners of the sinking fund of 
a probable deficiency. In his annual report to 
Congress, December, 1809, he announced the ex- 
penses of government, exclusive of the payments 
on account of the principal of the debt, to have 
exceeded the actual receipts into the Treasury by 
a sum of near $1,300,000. For this deficiency, 
and the sum required for the sinking fund, Galla- 
tin was authorized in May to borrow from the 
Bank of the United States $3,750,000 at six per 
cent., reimbursable on December 31, 1811. Of 
this sum only $2,750,000 was taken, the expenses 
having proved less than Mr. Gallatin had antici- 


Madison called Congress together on November 
1, 1811. The political tension was strong, and 
he was anxious to throw the responsibility of peace 
or war upon Congress. On November 22, 1811, 
Mr. Gallatin made his report on the finances and 
the public debt. It was, as usual, explicit and in 
no manner despondent. The actual receipts aris- 
ing from revenue alone exceeded the current ex- 
penses, including the interest paid on the debt, by 
a sum of more than five and one half millions of 
dollars. The public debt on January 1, 1812, 
was 845,154,463. Since Gallatin took charge 
of the department, the United States had in ten 
years and nine months paid in full the purchase 
money of Louisiana, and increased its revenue 
nearly two millions of dollars. For eight years 
eight millions of dollars had been annually paid 
on account of the principal and interest of the 
debt. And as though intending to leave as the 
legacy of his service a lesson of financial policy, 
he said : — 

" The redemption of principal has been effected with- 
out the aid of any internal taxes, either direct or indi- 
rect, without any addition during the last seven years 
to the rate of duties on importations, which on the con- 
trary have been impaired by the repeal of the duty on 
salt, and notwithstanding the great diminution of com- 
merce during the last four years. It therefore proves 
decisively the ability of the United States with their 
ordinary revenue to discharge, in ten years of peace, 
a debt of forty-two millions of dollars, a fact which 


considerably lessens the weight of the most formidable 
objection to which that revenue, depending almost solely 
on commerce, appears to be liable. In time of peace it 
is almost sufficient to defray the expenses of a war ; in 
time of war it is hardly competent to support the ex- 
penses of a peace establishment. Sinking at once, under 
adverse circumstances, from fifteen to six or eight mil- 
lions of dollars, it is only by a persevering application of 
the surplus which it affords us in years of prosperity, to 
the discharge of the debt, that a total change in the sys- 
tem of taxation or a perpetual accumulation of debt can 
be avoided. But if a similar application of such surplus 
be hereafter strictly adhered to, forty millions of debt, 
contracted during five or six years of war, may always, 
without any extraordinary exertions, be reimbursed in 
ten years of peace. This view of the subject at the pre- 
sent crisis appears necessary for the purpose of distinctly 
pointing out one of the principal resources within reach 
of the United States. But to be placed on a solid foun- 
dation, it requires the aid of a revenue sufficient at least 
to defray the ordinary expenses of government, and to 
pay the interest on the public debt, including that on 
new loans which may be authorized." 

From this plain declaration, it was evident that 
the sum necessary to pay interest on new loans, 
and provide for their redemption by the operation 
of the sinking fund, could not be obtained from 
the ordinary sources of revenue, and that resort 
must be had to extraordinary imposts or direct 
taxation. On January 10, 1812, in response to 
an inquiry of the Ways and Means Committee as 
to an increase of revenue in the event of a war, 


Gallatin submitted a project for war loans of ten 
millions a year, irredeemable for ten years. He 
pointed out that the government had never since 
its organization obtained considerable loans at six 
per cent, per annum, except from the Bank of the 
United States, and these, on a capital of seven 
millions, never amounted to seven millions in 
the whole. As the amount of prospective loans 
would naturally raise the amount of interest, it 
seemed prudent not to limit the rate of interest 
by law; ineligible as it seemed to leave that rate 
discretionary with the executive, it was prefer- 
able to leaving the public service unprovided 
for. For the same reason the loans should be 
made irredeemable for a term not less than ten 

He then repeated a former suggestion, that 
"treasury notes," bearing interest, might be is- 
sued, which would to that extent diminish the 
amount to be directly borrowed and also provide 
a part of the circulating medium, passing as bank 
notes; but their issue must be strictly limited to 
that amount at which they would circulate without 
depreciation. So long as the public credit is pre- 
served and a sufficient revenue provided, he enter- 
tained no doubts of the possibility of procuring on 
loan the sums necessary to defray the extraordi- 
nary expenses of a war. He warned the commit- 
tee, and through it Congress, that u no artificial 
provisions, no appropriations or investments of 
particular funds in certain persons, no nominal 


sinking fund, however constructed, will ever re- 
duce a public debt unless the net annual revenue 
shall exceed the aggregate of the annual expenses, 
including the interest of the debt." He then sub- 
mitted the following estimates : — 

" The current or peace expenses have been estimated 
at nine millions of dollars. Supposing the debt con- 
tracted during the war not to exceed fifty millions and 
its annual interest to amount to three millions, the ag- 
gregate of the peace expenditure would be no more 
than twelve millions. And as the peace revenue of the 
United States may at the existing rate of duties be fairly 
estimated at fifteen millions, there would remain from 
the first outset a surplus of three millions applicable to 
the redemption of the debt. So far, therefore, as can be 
now foreseen, there is the strongest reason to believe 
that the debt thus contracted will be discharged with 
facility and as speedily as the terms of the loans will 
permit. Nor does any other plan in that respect appear 
necessary than to extend the application of the annual 
appropriation of eight millions (and which is amply 
sufficient for that purpose) to the payment of interest 
and reimbursement of the principal of the new debt. . . . 
If the national revenue exceeds the national expenditure, 
a simple appropriation for the payment of the principal 
of the debt and coextensive with the object is sufficient 
and will infallibly extinguish the debt. If the expense 
exceeds the revenue, the appropriation of any specific sum 
and the investment of the interest extinguished or of any 
other fund, will prove altogether nugatory ; and the 
national debt will, notwithstanding that apparatus, be 
annually increased by an amount equal to the deficit in 


the revenue. . . . What appears to be of vital impor- 
tance is that the crisis should at once be met by tho 
adoption of efficient measures, which will with certainty 
provide means commensurate with the expense, and, 
by preserving unimpaired instead of abusing that pub- 
lic credit on which the public resources so eminently 
depend, will enable the United States to persevere in 
the contest until an honorable peace shall have been ob- 

On March 14 Congress authorized a public loan 
of eleven millions of dollars, leaving it optional 
with the banks who subscribed to take stock, or 
to loan the money on special contract. The books 
were opened May 1 and 2, and in the two days 
$6,118,900 were subscribed: 14,190,000 by banks 
and $1,928,000 by individuals. The rate was six 
per cent. Mr. Gallatin reported this result, and 
proposed the issue of treasury notes for such 
amount as was desired within the limit of the loan 
to bear interest at five and two fifths per cent, a 
year, equal to a cent and a half per day on a hun- 
dred dollars' note; 2d, to be payable one year 
after date of issue; 3d, to be in the meanwhile 
receivable in payment of all duties, taxes, or debts 
due to the United States. The first of these in- 
genious qualifications was adopted by Mr. Chase 
in his issue of the seven-thirties. 

On June 18 war was declared. On the 28th 
Mr. Gallatin submitted his estimate of receipts 
and expenditures for the year. 



Civil and miscellaneous $1,560,000 

Military establishment, and Indian dept. . 12,800,000 

Naval establishment 3,940,000 

Public debt 8,000,000 



Balance in Treasury, January 1 . . . . $2,000,000 
Receipts from duties and sales of lands 

as by estimate of November 22, 1811 . 8,200,000 

Loan authorized by law 11,000,000 

Treasury notes as authorized by House 

of Representatives ........ 5.000,000 


The issue of treasury notes was a novel experi- 
ment in the United States; but they were favor- 
ably received, and Mr. Gallatin calculated that 
the full amount authorized by law, 85,000,000, 
could be put in circulation during the year. The 
result of a loan seemed more doubtful. The old 
six per cents, and deferred stock had already fallen 
two or three per cent, below par. Mr. Gallatin 
again recommended the conversion of these securi- 
ties into a new six per cent, stock, which would 
facilitate the new loan, and to prevent the neces- 
sity of applying, the same years, the large sums 
required in reimbursement of and purchase of the 
public debt. 

On December 1 Mr. Gallatin made his last an- 
nual statement. 


Treasury Report for Fiscal Year ending September 30, 



Customs, sales of lands, etc $10,934,946.20 

On account of loan of eleven millions, 

act 14 March, 1812 5,847,212.50 

Balance in Treasury October 1, 1811 3,947,818.36 



Civil Department, foreign intercourse . $1,823,069.35 

Army, militia, forts, etc. $7,770,300.00 

Navy Department . . 3,107,501.54 

Indian Department . 230,975.00 iiinft77fi r 4. 

Interest on debt . . $2,498,013Tl9 

On account of principal 2,938,465.99 fj ^q 479 -^g 

Leaving in Treasury 30 Sept., 1812 2,361,652.69 


The sums obtained or secured on loans during 
the year amounted to 813,100,209, and the secre- 
tary had the satisfaction to state "that notwith- 
standing the addition thus made to the public debt, 
and although a considerable portion has been re- 
mitted from England and brought to market in 
America, the public stocks (which had at first ex- 
perienced a slight depression) have been for the 
last three months, and continue to be, at par." 
His last report to the commissioners of the sinking 
fund of February 5, 1813, stated the usual appli- 


cation of $8,719,773 to the principal and interest 
of the debt. 

In his report of December 1, 1812, Mr. Gallatin 
announced that a loan of twenty-one millions was 
needed for the service of 1813. Congress autho- 
rized a loan of $16,000,000, having six years to 
run, and an additional issue of $5,000,000 of trea- 
sury notes. Congress adjourned on March 4. 
Their procrastination and the pressing demands 
of the War Department nearly beggared the Trea- 
sury before the loans could be negotiated and cov- 
ered into it. 

On April 17 Mr. Gallatin wrote to the secretaries 
of the army and of the navy, and sent a copy of 
his letters to Mr. Madison with information that 
the loan had been filled, and the probable receipts 
of the Treasury from ordinary sources for the year 
ascertained. These he estimated at $9,300,000. 
Deducting the annual appropriation for interest 
on the debt, the sum expended to March 31, and 
the amount needed for the civil service, there re- 
mained for the War and Navy Departments to- 
gether the sum of $18,720,000. 

The loan of $16,000,000 was obtained in the 
following places : — 

States east of New York $486,700 

State of New York 5,720,000 

Philadelphia, Pa 6,858,400 

Baltimore and District of Columbia . . 2,393,300 

State of Virginia 187,000 

Charleston, S. C 354,000 



The history of this subscription is not without 
interest. The extremely small subscriptions in 
New England and in the Southern States can 
hardly be explained on any other theory than that 
of a belief in the collapse of the finances of the 
United States and a dissolution of the Union, for 
which the New England States had certainly been 
prepared by their governing minds. 1 

Books were opened on March 12 and 13, 1813, 
at Portsmouth, Salem, Boston, Providence, New 
York, Albany, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washing- 
ton, Richmond, and Charleston. In the two days 
the subscriptions only reached the sum of $3,956,- 
400. They were again opened on the 25th of 
March at New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and 
Washington. The New England and Southern 
States seem to have been disregarded because of 
their indifference in the first instance. The books 
remained open from March 25 to 31, during which 
time there were received $1,881,800, a total of 

The pressure fell on the Middle States. In 
these, fortunately for the government, there were 
three great capitalists whose faith in the future 
prosperity of the United States was unimpaired. 
All were foreigners: David Parish and Stephen 
Girard in Philadelphia and John Jacob Astor in 
New York. These now came forward, no doubt 
at the instance of Mr. Gallatin, who was a per- 

1 At Portland, $120,000; Salem, $183,000; Boston, $75,300; 
Providence, $67,800; Richmond, $49,000; Norfolk, $103,000 i 
Charleston, $354,000. 


sonal friend of each. Parish and Girard offered 
on April 5 to take eight millions of the loan at 
the rate of eighty-eight dollars for a certificate of 
one hundred dollars bearing interest at six per 
cent., redeemable before December 31, 1825, they 
to receive one quarter of one per cent, commission 
on the amount accepted, and in case of a further 
loan for the service of the year 1813, to be placed 
on an equal footing with its takers. John Jacob 
Astor on the same day and at the same place pro- 
posed to take for himself and his friends the sum 
of two million and fifty-six thousand dollars of the 
loan on the same conditions. These offers were 
accepted and the loan was complete. An offer 
on behalf of the State of Pennsylvania to take one 
million of the loan was received too late. Alto- 
gether the offers amounted to about eighteen mil- 
lions, or two millions more than the sum de- 
manded. Mr. Gallatin, clinging to his old plan, 
endeavored to negotiate this loan at par, by offer- 
ing a premium of a thirteen years' annuity of one 
per cent., but found it impracticable. Indeed, the 
system of annuity, general in England, has never 
found favor as an investment in the United States. 
This was Mr. Gallatin's last financial transac- 
tion. A few weeks later, at his own request, he 
severed his actual connection with the Treasury 
Department and was on his way to St. Petersburg 
to secure the proffered mediation of the emperor 
of Russia between the United States and Great 


Thus ended Mr. Gallatin's administration of 
the national finances. The hour for saving had 
passed. The imperious necessities of war take no 
heed of economic principles. The work which 
the secretary had done became as the rope of 
sand. It is not surprising that Gallatin wearied of 
his post; that he watched with vain regret and 
unavailing sighs the unavoidable increase of the 
national debt, and that he sought relief in other 
services where success was not so evanescent as in 
the Treasury Department. Before the close of 
Madison's administration, February 12, 1816, the 
public debt had run up to over one hundred and 
twenty-three millions, 1 and a sum equal to the 
entire amount of Mr. Gallatin's savings in two 
terms had been expended in one. But his work 
had not been in vain. The war was the crucial 
test of the soundness of his financial policy. The 
maxims which he announced, that debt can only 
be reduced by a surplus of revenue over expendi- 
ture, and the accompaniment of every loan by an 
appropriation for its extinguishment, became the 
fundamental principle of American finance. Mr. 
Gallatin was uniformly supported in it by Congress 
and public opinion. It was faithfully adhered to 
by his distinguished successors, Dallas and Craw- 
ford, and the impulse thus given continued through 
later administrations, until, in 1837, twenty years 
after the peace, the entire debt had been extin- 
guished. All this without any other variation from 
1 Report of Secretary Dallas, September 20, 1816. 


Mr. Gallatin's original plan than an increase of 
the annual appropriation, to the sinking fund for 
its reimbursement, from eight to ten millions. 1 

The only charge which has ever been made 
against Gallatin's administration was, that he re- 
duced the debt at the expense of the defenses and 
security of the country; but, to quote the words 
of one of his biographers: 2 "Mr. Gallatin had 
the sagacity to know that it [the redemption of 
the debt] would make but little difference in the 
degree of preparation of national defense and 
means of contest, for which it is impossible ever 
to obtain a considerable appropriation before the 
near approach of the danger that may render them 
necessary. He knew that the money thus well 
and wisely devoted to the payment of the debt 
was only rescued from a thousand purposes of ex- 
travagance and mal-application to which all our 
legislative bodies are so prone whenever they have 
control of surplus funds.'' In our own day the 
irresistible temptations of a full treasury need 
no labored demonstration. Friend and foe drop 
political differences over the abundant fleshpot. 
The very thought of catering to such appetites dis- 
gusted Gallatin. To Jefferson he frankly said, in 
1809, that while he did not pretend to step out of 
his own sphere and to control the internal manage- 
ment of other dejmrtments, yet he could not "con- 
sent to act the part of a mere financier, to become 
a contriver of taxes, a dealer of loans, a seeker of 

1 Act of March 3, 1817. 2 Democratic Review, xii. 641. 




— — 

& OCX 

fc-. • " 

re 3 ^ 

1 • • 

cod re 

• • • 

r*w p 


• • 










so »■* 





c* ^ 



— X 


«-^ »— ' ^, 

£ 1 - «5» 

$ 1 ex 


to top 

re 2 

te i plo 


sr «2 

3 3 

N 1 «K 

05 ** 

O liZ 




in — 




re 03 
o re 


C/T w 

c 2 



CD _- 
* P 








f- — ■ 








to -J 


© o* 












— to 




— 33 



— - 



1— 1 










V* X 




CO 30 




to — 

3t O 





























-I li 










- - 








00 00 
I — i I— I 





CO — 


— CO 



.Pi 30 



J- CO 



8 3 





>6> to 






Cn — 


~i rs 




a. '- 


J- Cit 




>— to 










' : -• 



re 3 J? 

rt? p 





~ — 

re 3 

re re 

c 3 

re S- 













y- — p 


O 2.3 

re "=& 

jq- cd 

o re 

c £. 

CD — 
• P 



















S ^ 

E o 

tr 1 hh 

H H 

y g 

3 w 

CO c/j 




O h-i 


hd !z{ 


H Q 


t— i 


P fc 

M O 

5 w 

co o 


resources for the purpose of supporting useless 
baubles, of increasing the number of idle and dis- 
sipated members of the community, of fattening 
contractors, pursers, and agents, and of introdu- 
cing in all its ramifications that system of patron- 
age, corruption, and rottenness which you justly 


L*~Etat c J est moi was the autocratic maxim of 
Lionis Quatorze. An adherence to it cost the 
Bourbons their throne. Burke was more philo- 
sophical when he said, u The revenue of the State 
is the State." Its imposition, its collection, and 
its application involve all the principles and all 
the powers of government, constitutional or ex- 
traordinary. It is the sole foundation of public 
credit, the sole support of the body politic, its life- 
blood in peace,its nerve in war. The "purse and 
the sword ' are respectively the resource and de- 
fense of government and peoples, and they are 
interdependent powers. With the discovery of the 
sources of revenue, and the establishment of its 
currents, Mr. Gallatin, in the first eight years of 
his administration of the Treasury, had nothing 
to do. He had only to maintain those systems 
which Hamilton had devised, and which, wisely 
adapted to the growth of the country, proved am- 
ply adequate to the ordinary expenditures of the 
government and to the gTadual extinguishment of 
the debt. The entire revenue included three dis- 


tinct branches : imposts on importations and ton- 
nage, internal revenue, sales of public lands. The 
duties on imports of foreign merchandise were 
alone sufficient to meet the current expenses of the 
various departments of administration on a peace 
establishment, and, increasing with the growth of 
the country, would prove ample in future. The 
gross amount of imports in the four years of 
Adams's administration, 1796-1800, was about 
three hundred and fourteen millions of dollars, 
and the customs yielded about thirty millions. 

Mr. Gallatin's first annual report, submitted to 
the House of Representatives in December, 1801, 
exhibited his financial scheme. He recapitulated 
the various sources of permanent revenue. They 
were those of Hamilton's original tariff. 

The revenues for the year ended September 30, 
1801, were the basis of the estimates for future 
years. These were 

Duties on imports and tonnage . $10,126,213.92 

Internal revenue 854,000.00 

Land sales 400,000.00 


But the close of the war in Europe sensibly 
diminished the enormous carrying trade which fell 
to the United States as neutrals, and, as a conse- 
quence, the revenue from that source ; large quan- 
tities of goods were brought into the United States 
and reexported to foreign ports under a system of 
debenture. The revenue on what Mr. Gallatin 


calls "this accidental commerce" was $1,200,000. 
He therefore estimated the permanent revenues at 

Customs duties $9,500,000 

Land sales 400,000 

Postage 50.000 

Internal revenue 650.000 


Or, without the internal revenue, say ten millions 
of permanent revenue, as a basis for the permanent 

To bring the expenditures within this sum, how- 
ever, a reduction in the army and navy establish- 
ments was necessary. This Gallatin soon found 
to be too radical a measure for success, either in 
the cabinet or Congress, however well it may have 
accorded with Jefferson's Utopian views. In the 
budget of 1802 the internal revenue, $650,000, 
was, therefore, a necessary item. The expendi- 
tures proposed were 

Annual appropriation for interest and 

principal of debt $7,100,000 

Civil list $780,000 

Foreign intercourse . . 200,000 
Military and Indian Dept. 1,420,000 
Naval 1,100,000 

$3,500,000 3.500,000 


In this budget the estimate for the military 
establishment was an increase over that of Wol- 
cott for 1801, which was $1,120,000. But the 


Republicans in the House were not content with 
this arrangement. The internal revenues were 
utterly distasteful to them. They had been laid 
against their protest and collected under military 
menace. They were of those Federal measures 
of which they would have none. John Randolph, 
chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means, 
reported, March 2, 1802, against the entire system 
of internal duties, in the old words of the Penn- 
sylvania radicals, as vexatious, oppressive, and 
peculiarly obnoxious ; as of the nature of an excise 
which is hostile to the genius of a free people, and 
finally because of their tendency to multiply offices 
and increase the patronage of the executive. The 
repeal was imperative upon the Republican party. 
On April 6, 1802, the act was repealed and the 
surplus of the budget stripped from it, without 
Mr. Gallatin's consent, certainly, but also with- 
out protest from him. 

The prosperity of the country continued. The 
impost duties for the fiscal year ending September 
30, 1802, rose to $12,280,000, the sales of the pub- 
lic lands to $326,000, and the postage to $50,500, 
a total of 112,656,500, and left in the Treasury, 
September 30, 1802, the sum of $4,539,675. 
This large increase in the Treasury did not in the 
least change Mr. Gallatin's general plan, and his 
budget for 1803 was based on his original scale 
of a permanent revenue of $10,000,000, to corre- 
spond with which the estimates of the preceding 
year were reduced. The fiscal year closed Sep- 


tember 30, 1803, with a balance in the Treasury 
of $5,860,000. This situation of the finances was 
fortunate in view of secret negotiations which the 
President and Congress were initiating for the 
purchase of Louisiana from France. 

The secretaries of war and of the navy had 
promised to reduce their expenditures to a figure 
approximate to Mr. Gallatin's estimates; but the 
breaking out of hostilities with Tripoli prevented 
the proposed economy, and Mr. Gallatin was called 
upon to provide for an increased expenditure with 
one certain source of revenue definitively closed. 
He therefore proposed an additional tax of two 
and one half per cent, on all importations which 
paid an ad valorem duty. This additional impost, 
laid by act of March 25, 1804, called the Mediter- 
ranean Fund, remained in force long after the war 
closed and held its place on the books of the Trea- 
sury under that name. 

The bulk of the cost of Louisiana was met by 
an issue of bonds; but Mr. Gallatin, true to his 
principle, applied the moneys in the Treasury as 
far as they would go. The budget for 1805 was 
on a different scale. The increase in the debt 
demanded a proportionate increase in the revenue 
to meet the additional sum required for interest 
and gradual annual reimbursement. The Medi- 
terranean Fund was sufficient to meet the increased 
amounts required for the navy. In this manner 
he held up the Navy Department to a strict ac- 
countability and made it responsible to Congress 


and not to the cabinet for its administration, and 
he thus, from his own point of view, relieved the 
Treasury Department from any responsibility for 
extraordinary expenditure. 

Mr. Gallatin closed his four years of adminis- 
tration with flying colors. The successful man- 
agement of the finances was an important factor 
in the election of 1804, which returned Mr. Jef- 
ferson to the presidential chair and insured to the 
country the inestimable advantages of Mr. Galla- 
tin's practical mind. Order reigned in his depart- 
ment at least, and order subordinate to the strict- 
est requirements of law. In the four years, 1801- 
1804, Jefferson's first term, the imports aggregated 
$337,363,510 and the customs yielded 145,000,000. 

The annual report, made December 9, 1805, 
announced an increasing revenue, amounting in 
all to thirteen and one half millions of dollars, 
chiefly from customs. Still Mr. Gallatin made 
but small addition to his estimates for the coming 
year. The permanent revenue he raised to twelve 
and one half millions and increased the appropria- 
tion for the payment of the debt and interest to 
eight millions. Nothing occurred during the next 
year to check the growth of the country ; the rev- 
enue continued on a rising scale, and reached close 
upon fifteen millions of dollars. 

So far Mr. Gallatin had met but inconsiderable 
obstacles in his course, and these he used to his 
advantage to impress economy upon the Army and 
Navy Departments, and enforce his principle of 


minute appropriations for their government. All 
that he had already accomplished in the establish- 
ment of a sound financial system and the support 
of the credit of the United States was but the 
basis of a broader structure of national economy. 
His extensive scheme of internal improvements 
was hardly matured when the thunder broke in 
the clear sky. 

The acquisition of Louisiana, the large carrying 
trade which had passed under the American flag, 
and the rapid prosperity of the financial and in- 
dustrial condition of the country aroused the jeal- 
ousy of Great Britain, and determined her to 
check the further progress of the United States 
by war, if need be. The capture of the American 
frigate Chesapeake by the man-of-war Leopard, 
June 22, 1807, was only the first in a series of 
outrages which rendered the final collision, though 
long delayed, inevitable. Mr. Gallatin at once 
recognized that the Treasury could no longer be 
conducted on a peace basis. "Money," he wrote 
to Joseph H. Nicholson, "we will want to carry 
on the war ; our revenue will be cut up ; new and 
internal taxes will be slow and not sufficiently 
productive ; we must necessarily borrow. This is 
not pleasing to me, but it must be done." Con- 
gress was called together for October 26, 1807, 
and on November 5, Mr. Gallatin sent in his 
annual report. There was still hope that Great 
Britain would make amends for the outrage, and 
Congress was certainly peaceably disposed. In 


the condition of the Treasury there was no reason 
as yet for recommending extraordinary measures. 
The revenues for the year passed the sum of 
seventeen millions; the balance in the Treasury 
reached eight and one half millions; the surplus 
on a peace footing was twelve millions. Mr. Gal- 
latin recommended that the duties should be dou- 
bled in case war were threatened. He said, 
"Should the revenue fall below seven millions of 
dollars, not only the duty on salt and the Mediter- 
ranean duties could be immediately revived, but 
the duties on importation generally be considerably 
increased, perhaps double, with less inconvenience 
than would arise from any other mode of taxation." 
Experience had proven that this source of revenue 
is in the United States "the most productive, the 
easiest to collect, and least burdensome to the 
great mass of the people." But still the war- 
cloud did not break. Mr. Canning contented him- 
self with war in disguise, and by his Order in 
Council of November 11, 1807, shut the ports of 
Europe to American trade, and wiped away the 
advantages of the United States as a neutral 
power. The United States answered with the act 
of embargo on December 22, 1807, completing, 
as far as it was possible for legislation to effect 
it, the blockade of the Treasury Department as 
regarded revenues from foreign imports. The im- 
mediate effect, however, of these acts in Great 
Britain and America was an enormous temporary 
increase of importations in the interim from the 


time of the passage of the act until the date when 
it took effect. To aid merchants in this peculiar 
condition of affairs an act was passed by Congress, 
on March 10, 1808, extending the terms of credit 
on revenue bonds. 

Mr. Gallatin's report of December 16, 1808, 
closed the record of his eight years of management 
of the Department. In the second term of Jeffer- 
son's administration, 1805-1808, the gross amount 
of imports had risen to 1443,990,000, and the 
customs collected to nearly $60,000,000. In the 
entire eight years, 1800-1808, the gross amount 
of importations was $781,000,000, and the customs 
yielded $105,000,000. The entire expenses of 
the government in the same period, including 
$65,000,000 of debt, had been liquidated from 
customs alone. 

The specie in the Treasury on September 20, 
1808, reached nearly $14,000,000. Mr. Jefferson 
knew of the amount in the Treasury when he wrote 
his last message, November 8, 1808, and he could 
not have been ignorant of Mr. Gallatin's warning 
of the previous year that a continuance of the 
embargo restriction would reduce the revenue be- 
low the point of annual expenditures and require 
an additional impost; yet he had the ignorance or 
the presumption to say in his message, "Shall it 
(the surplus revenue) lie unproductive in the pub- 
lic vaults? Shall the revenue be reduced? or 
shall it not rather be appropriated to the improve- 
ment of roads, canals, rivers, education, and other 


great foundations of prosperity and union under 
the powers which Congress may already possess 
or such amendments of the Constitution as may 
be approved by the States? While uncertain of 
the course of things, the time may be advantage- 
ously employed in obtaining the powers necessary 
for a system of improvement, should it be thought 
best." In these words Jefferson surrendered the 
vital principle of the Republican party. In his 
satisfaction at the only triumph of his administra- 
tion, the management of the finances and the pur- 
chase of a province without a ripple on the even 
surface of national finance, he gave up the very 
basis of the Republican theory, the reduction of 
the government to its possible minimum, and act- 
ually proposed a system of administration coexten- 
sive with the national domain, an increase of the 
functions of government, and consequently of ex- 
ecutive power. 

The annual report of the Treasury, presented 
December 16, 1808, showed no diminution of 
resources. The total receipts for the fiscal year 
were nearly eighteen millions. The total receipts 
for — 

Customs reached $26,126,648 

On which debentures were allowed 

on exportations 10,059,457 

Actual receipts from customs . . . $16,067,191 

But this source of revenue was now definitively 
closed by the embargo, while the expenditures of 


the government were increased. Mr. Gallatin 
met the situation frankly and notified Congress of 
the resources of the Treasury. 


Cash in Treasury $13,846,717.52 

Back customs, net 2.154,000.00 

Total resources $16,000,717.52 

The receipts from importations and land sales 
would be offset by deductions for bad debts and 
extensions of credit to importers. The expendi- 
tures were set at $13,000,000, which would leave 
in the Treasury for extraordinary expenditure 
$3,000,717. The disbursements had been far 
beyond the estimates; those for the military and 
naval establishments reaching together six millions. 
It is not to be supposed that Mr. Gallatin saw 
this depletion of the Treasury, this rapid dissipa- 
tion of the specie, — always desirable and never 
more so than in periods of trouble, — without dis- 
appointment and regret. His report to Congress 
was as outspoken politically as it was financially, 
and from a foreign-born citizen to an American 
Congress must have carried its sting. "Either 
America," he wrote, "must accept the position of 
commerce allotted to her by the British edicts, 
and abandon all that is forbidden, — and it is not 
material whether this is done by legal provisions 
limiting the commerce of the United States to the 
permitted places, or by acquiescing in the cap- 
ture of vessels stepping beyond the prescribed 


bounds. Or the nation must oppose force to the 
execution of the orders of England; and this, 
however done, and by whatever name called, will 
be war." He recalled to them his advice of the 
preceding years in a vein of tempered bitterness : 
"Had the duties been doubled on January 1, 

1808, as was then suggested, in case of war the 
receipts into the Treasury during that and the en- 
suing year would have been increased nine or ten 
millions of dollars." He then proposed to con- 
tinue the Mediterranean Fund and to double all 
existing duties on importations after January 1, 

1809. He informed them that no internal taxes, 
either direct or indirect, were contemplated by 
him even in the case of hostilities against the two 
belligerent powers; France having responded to 
the Orders in Council by Napoleon's Milan decree, 
December 17, 1807, which was quite as offensive 
to the United States as that of Canning. With 
true statesmanship Mr. Gallatin nerved the coun- 
try to extraordinary exertion by reminding it that 
the geographical situation of the United States 
and their history since the Revolution removed 
every apprehension of frequent wars. 

During the year 1809 the country drifted along 
apparently without rudder or compass, helmsman 
or course, and the treasury locker was being rap- 
idly reduced to remainder biscuit. Mr. Madison 
was inaugurated in March. In his first message, 
May 23, 1809, he exposed the financial situation 
with an indecision which was as marked a trait of 


his character as optimism was of that of Jefferson. 
In his message of November 29, 1809, he said 
"the sums which had been previously accumulated 
in the Treasury, together with the receipts during 
the year ending on September 30 last, and amount- 
ing to more than nine millions of dollars, have 
enabled us to fulfill all our engagements and de- 
fray the current expenses of government without 
recurring to any loan; but the insecurity of our 
commerce and the consequent demands of the 
public revenue will probably produce a deficiency 
in the receipts of the ensuing year." Beyond this 
Madison did not venture; Gallatin was left alone. 
The Treasury report of December 8, 1809, an- 
nounced the beginning of short rations. The ex- 
penses of government, exclusively of the payments 
on account of the principal of the debt, had ex- 
ceeded the actual receipts into the Treasury by 
a sum of near $1,300,000. If the military and 
naval establishments were to be continued at the 
figures of 1809, when six millions were expended, 
there would result a deficiency of $3,000,000, and 
a loan of $4,000,000 would be necessary. Other- 
wise the Mediterranean Fund would suffice. The 
cash in the Treasury had fallen from nearly four- 
teen millions on June 2, 1809, to less than six 
millions on September 3, following. In this re- 
port Gallatin expressed his opinion, that the sys- 
tem of restriction established by the embargo and 
partly relaxed must be entirely reinstated or wholly 
abandoned. On May 1, 1810, an act of strict 


prohibition of importations from Great Britain 
and her dependencies was passed. 

While from the incompetency of the administra- 
tion the country was fast approaching the real 
crisis of open war, the Republicans in Congress 
were deliberately destroying and undermining the 
basis of national credit, by which alone it could 
be carried on. In February the United States 
Bank, by which, and its branches, the customs 
were collected throughout the country, was de- 
stroyed by the refusal of Congress to renew its 
charter. Mr. Gallatin in his combinations never 
contemplated such a contingency as the total de- 
struction of the fiscal agency on which the govern- 
ment had relied for twenty years. Unwilling to 
struggle longer against the mean personalities and 
factious opposition of his own party in Congress, 
he tendered his resignation to Mr. Madison. But 
the Republican party was a party of opposition, 
not of government. With the exception of Mr. 
Gallatin, no competent administrative head had 
as yet appeared. There was no one in the party 
or out of it to take his place. Mr. Madison knew 
it. Mr. Gallatin felt it, and remained. Congress 
met in November. On the 25th Mr. Gallatin 
sent in his annual report; the receipts reached 
thirteen and a half million dollars. 

The budget for 1812 left a deficiency to be 
provided for of $1,200,000. This was a small 
matter. The revenue Mr. Gallatin proposed to 
increase, on the plan before recommended, by ad- 


ditions of fifty per cent, to the imposts on foreign 
commerce. This he preferred to any internal tax. 

At the close of the year the country, chafed 
beyond endurance by the indignities put upon it 
and the sufferings it encountered without compen- 
sation to its pride, was eager for war. Congress 
was no way loath to try the dangerous path out of 
its labyrinth of blunders. The near contingency 
imposed the necessity of an immediate examination 
of the sources of revenue. In January, 1812, 
Mr. Gallatin was requested by the chairman of 
the Committee of Ways and Means to give his 
opinion as to the probable amount of receipts from 
duties on tonnage and merchandise in the event of 
war. This, in view of the vigorous restrictions 
laid by France under her continental system of 
exclusion, Mr. Gallatin estimated under existing 
rules as not to exceed 12,500,000. He then stated, 
without hesitation, that it was practicable and 
advisable to double the rate of duties, and to renew 
the old duty on salt. The sum acquired, with 
this addition, he anticipated, would amount to 

On the basis of annual loans of ten millions of 
dollars during the continuance of the war (the sum 
assumed by the committee), the deficiency for 
1814 would amount, by Mr. Gallatin's estimate, 
to $4,200,000. To produce a net revenue equal 
to this deficiency he stated that the gross sum of 
taxes to be laid must be five millions of dollars. 
He then reverted to his report of December 10, 


1808, in which he had stated that "no internal 
taxes, either direct or indirect, were contemplated, 
even in the case of hostilities carried on against 
the two great belligerent powers." The balance 
in the Treasury was then nearly fourteen millions 
of dollars, but in view of the daily decrease of 
the revenue he had recommended "that all the 
existing duties be doubled on importations subse- 
quent to the first day of January, 1809." As the 
revenues of 1809, 1810, and 1811 had yielded 
$26,000,000, the sum on hand, with the increase 
thus recommended, would have reached $20,000,- 
000, a sum greater than the net amount of the 
proposed internal taxes in four years. 

At that time no symptoms had appeared from 
which the absolute dissolution of the Bank of the 
United States without any substitute could have 
been anticipated. If its charters had been re- 
newed, on the conditions suggested by Mr. Galla- 
tin, the necessity for internal taxes would have 
been avoided. The resources of the country, prop- 
erly applied, however, were amply sufficient to 
meet the emergency; but Mr. Gallatin distinctly 
threw upon Congress, and by implication upon 
the Republican majority, the responsibility for the 
state of the Treasury, and the imperative necessity 
for a form of taxation which it detested as oppres- 
sive, and which it was a party shibboleth to de- 
clare in and out of season, to be unconstitutional. 
The choice of the administration was between 
the Bank which Jefferson detested and Gallatin 


favored, and the internal tax which Mr. Gallatin 
considered as the most repulsive in its operation 
of any form of revenue. 

But necessity knows no law, and the prime 
mover, if not the original author, of the opposition 
to Hamilton's system was driven to propose the 
renewal of the measures, opposition to which had 
brought the Republican party into power, and had 
placed himself at the head of the Treasury. He 
now proposed to raise the five millions deficiency 
by internal taxation — $3,000,000 by direct tax 
and $2,000,000 by indirect tax. 

Continuing his lucid and remarkable report with 
careful details of the methods to be adopted, Gal- 
latin closed with an urgent recommendation that 
the crisis should at once be met by the adoption 
of efficient measures to provide, with certainty, 
means commensurate with the expense, and by 
preserving unimpaired, instead of abusing, that 
credit on which the public resources eminently 
depend, to enable the United States to persevere 
in the contest until an honorable peace should be 
obtained. Thus he held the bitter cup to the lips 
of the Republican Congress, which, however, was 
not yet to drain its full measure. War was de- 
clared June 18, 1812. On July 1, 1812, an act 
was passed imposing an additional duty of one 
hundred per cent, on all importations, an additional 
ten per cent, on goods brought in foreign vessels, 
and also a duty of $1.50 per ton on all foreign 
vessels. The duty was to remain until the expira- 


tion of one year after peace should be made with 
Great Britain. On December 5, 1812, Mr. Gal- 
latin sent in his last report. The balance in the 
treasury was $3,947,818. His estimate for the 
service of the year 1813 was a war budget. He- 
sources, $12,000,000; expenditures, $31,926,000; 
promising a deficiency of $19,925,000. For this 
and other contingencies Mr. Gallatin asked for 
a loan of twenty millions. The authority was 
granted, but the recommendations of direct and 
indirect taxes were disregarded. Here Mr. Gal- 
latin's direct connection with the customs system 

The value of foreign importations during Madi- 
son's first term was $275,230,000, and the customs 
derived from them thirty-eight millions of dollars. 

Congress adjourned March 4, 1813, but was 
called together again in May, when the subject of 
internal taxes was again forced upon them. The 
internal revenue was a part of Hamilton's general 
scheme. His original bill was passed, and, after 
numerous amendments suggested by trial, its griev- 
ances were tempered and the friction removed. 
In Adams's term it yielded nearly three millions 
of dollars. In Jefferson's first term, before the 
rise in customs revenue allowed of its abandon- 
ment, Mr. Gallatin drew from this source nearly 
two millions of dollars, enough to pay the interest 
and provide for the extinguishment of a six per 
cent, loan of thirty millions ; a war budget in itself. 


But it had been so entirely set aside that in Jeffer- 
son's second term, 1808-1812, it had fallen to 
a little over sixty-three thousand; in Madison's 
first term, to a little under nineteen thousand dol- 
lars. Was it to this Mr. Dallas referred in that 
passage of his report, made in 1815, on the finan- 
cial operations of the war, in which he expresses 
his regret "that there existed no system by which 
the internal resources of the country could be 
brought at once into action, when the resources 
of its external commerce became incompetent to 
answer the exigencies of the time? The existence 
of such a system would probably have invigorated 
the early movements of the war, might have pre- 
served the public credit unimpaired, and would 
have rendered the pecuniary contributions of the 
people more equal, as well as more effective." 
"It certainly," to use the words of this Mr. Galla- 
tin's oldest and best political friend, "furnishes 
a lesson of practical policy." Disagreeable as the 
necessity was, it could not be avoided, and Mr. 
Gallatin met it manfully. Nay more, he seems 
to have had a grim satisfaction in proposing the 
measure to the Congress which had thwarted 
him in his plans. In accordance with his sugges- 
tions, Congress, in the extra session of May, 1813, 
laid a direct tax of $3,000,000 upon the States, 
and specific duties upon refined sugar, carriages, 
licenses to distillers of spirituous liquors, sales at 
auction, licenses to retailers of wines, and upon 
notes of banks and bankers. These duties, in 

\A J ■ cboUU^L^ 


the beginning temporary, were calculated to yield 
$500,000, and with the direct tax to give a sum 
of $3,500,000. But the increasing expenditures 
again requiring additional sums of revenue, the 
duties were made permanent and additional taxes 
were laid; the entire revenue for 1815 being raised 
so as to yield $12,400,000. In the second term 
of Mr. Madison the internal revenue brought in 
nearly eleven and a half millions. The Federal- 
ists, who as a party were opposed to the war, en- 
joyed the situation; Mr. Gallatin was compelled 
to impose the internal revenue tax which he de- 
tested, and Mr. Dallas was called upon to enforce 
its application. 

The only remaining source of revenue was the 
sale of public lands. This also was a part of 
Hamilton's original scheme. The public lands of 
the United States were acquired in three different 
ways, namely, 1, by cessions from the States of 
such lands as they claimed, or were entitled to by 
their original grants or charters from the crown, 
while colonies ; 2, by purchase from Indian tribes ; 
3, by treaties with foreign nations, — those of 1783 
and 1794 with Great Britain, of 1795 with Spain, 
and of 1803 with France. The need of bringing 
this vast territory under the control of the govern- 
ment and disposing of it for settlement was early 
apparent. In July, 1791, Hamilton sent in to 
the House a report on "A uniform system for 
the disposition of the lands, the property of the 


United States." In March preceding, grants of 
the United States had confirmed to the actual set- 
tlers in the Illinois country the possession of their 
farms. But what with the Indian wars and the 
rebellion within the United States, no action was 
taken by Congress to carry the recommendations 
of the secretary into effect, until Mr. Gallatin, 
whose residence on the frontier gave him direct 
interest in the subject, brought up the matter at 
the very first session he attended. In 1796 a bill 
was passed authorizing and regulating the sale of 
lands northwest of the Ohio and above the mouth 
of the Kentucky River, and a surveyor-general 
was appointed with directions to lay out these 
lands in townships. The sales under Adams's 
administrations were trifling, the total amount 
received from this source before the year 1800 
being slightly over one hundred thousand dollars. 
In May, 1800, sales of the same lands were autho- 
rized at public vendue at not less than two dollars 
per acre ; four land offices were established in the 
territory ; surveyors were appointed, and a register 
of the land office was made a permanent official. 
In March, 1803, an act was passed to regulate 
the sale of the United States lands south of the 
Tennessee River, two land offices were established 
and public sale provided for at the same price set 
in the act of 1800. In March, 1804, the Indiana 
lands lying north of the Ohio and east of the 
Mississippi were brought within similar regula- 
tions, and an act was passed concerning the coun- 


try acquired under Spanish and British grants. 
In the same month Louisiana was erected into two 
territories. The sums received from the sales dur- 
ing the first term of Jefferson's administration 
amounted to little more than one million of dol- 
lars. In January, 1805, the territory of Indiana 
was divided into two separate governments; that 
one which was set off received the name of Michi- 
gan, and in 1808, its territory was brought under 
the regulations of the land office. 

The sums received from the sales in the second 
term of Jefferson's administration reached nearly 
two and one half millions of dollars, and in Madi- 
son's first term, nearly three millions of dollars. 
From first to last Mr. Gallatin never lost sight 
of the subject, though occasion did not serve for 
more than organization of the system which, in 
the four years ending 1836, yielded nearly fifty 
million dollars, and paid more than one third of 
the entire expenses of the government. To John 
W. Eppes 1 Mr. Gallatin wrote in the crisis of 
1813, "The public lands constitute the only great 
national resource exclusive of loans and taxes. 
They have already been mentioned as a fund for 
the ultimate extinguishment of the public debt." 
The land offices were then in full operation. 

In 1810 Mr. Gallatin prepared an "Introduc- 
tion to the collection of laws, treaties, and other 
documents respecting the public lands," which was 
published pursuant to an act of Congress passed 
In April of that year. 

1 Chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means. 


Free, Trade 

While Mr. Gallatin differed from his early Re- 
publican associates in many of their theories of 
administration, he was a firm believer in the best 
of their principles, namely, the wisdom of giving 
free scope to the development of national resources 
with the least possible interference on the part of 
government. One of his purposes in his persistent 
desire for economy in expenditure was to reduce 
the tariff upon foreign importations to the lowest 
practicable limit. He was the earliest public ad- 
vocate in America of the principles of free trade, 
and an experience of sixty years confirmed him 
in his convictions. 

The extinguishment of the debt rendered a great 
reduction in the revenue possible. On the other 
hand, it brought the friends of a low tariff face to 
face with the problem of internal improvements. 
As the election of 1832 drew near, the advocates 
of the two systems ranged themselves in two great 
parties precisely as to-day: the advocates of the 
protective or American system with internal im- 
provements as an outlet for accumulations of rev- 
enue on the one side ; on the other the advocates 
of free trade. Between his desire for the advan- 
tages of the one with its attendant disadvantages 
of government interference in its prosecution, and 
the freedom of commerce from undue restrictions, 
Mr. Gallatin did not hesitate. Pie threw the 
whole force of his experience and character into 


the free trade cause, and became the leader of its 

On September 30, 1831, a convention of the 
advocates of free trade, without distinction of 
party, met at the Musical Fund Hall in Philadel- 
phia. Two hundred and twelve delegates appeared. 
Among them were Theodore Sedgwick, George 
Peabody, and John L. Gardner from Massachu- 
setts; Preserved Fish, John Constable, John A. 
Stevens, Jonathan Goodhue, James Boorman, Ja- 
cob Lorillard, and Albert Gallatin from New 
York; C. C. Biddle, George Emlen, Isaac W. 
Norris from Pennsylvania ; Langdon Cheves, Henry 
Middleton, Joseph W. Allston, and William C. 
Preston from South Carolina; and men of equal 
distinction, bankers, merchants, statesmen, and 
political economists from other States. Of this 
convention Mr. Gallatin was the soul. He opened 
its business by stating the objects of the meeting, 
and nominated the Hon. Philip P. Barbour of 
Virginia for president. A general committee of 
two from each State was appointed, which recom- 
mended an address to the people of the United 
States and a memorial to Congress. The address 
to the people closed with a declaration that the 
near extinguishment of the national debt, which 
would be discharged by the available funds of the 
government on January 1, 1833, suggested that 
the moment was propitious for the establishment 
of the principles of free trade. Thus the people 
of the United States, who had successfully asserted 


the doctrines of free government, might add to its 
claims upon the gratitude of the world by being 
the first also to proclaim the theory of a free and 
unrestricted commerce, the genuine "American 
system." Mr. Gallatin was the chairman of the 
committee of fourteen, one from each State repre- 
sented in the convention, to prepare the memorial 
which was presented in their behalf to Congress, 
the conclusions of which, presented with his con- 
summate ability, demonstrated with mathematical 
precision that a duty of twenty -five per cent, was 
sufficient for all the legitimate purposes of govern- 
ment. Here he found himself in direct opposition 
to Mr. Clay, whose political existence was staked 
upon the opposite theory. Mr. Clay answered in 
a great speech in the Senate in February, 1832, 
and forgot himself in personal denunciation of 
Mr. Gallatin as a foreigner with European inter- 
ests at heart, and of Utopian ideas; for this he 
expressed his regret to Mr. Gallatin in an inter- 
view arranged by mutual friends at a much later 
period. Mr. Gallatin's views were accepted as 
the policy of the country, and after some shifting 
of parties, in which friends and foes changed 
ground in subordination to other political exigen- 
cies, they prevailed in the tariff of 1846, the best 
arranged and most reasonable which the United 
States has yet seen. 

It is certain that Mr. Gallatin was opposed to 
"protective" revenue. His preference was for an 
"even " duty on all imports. This is not the place 


for an economic discussion. The true policy of 
the United States is probably between the ex- 
tremes of protection and free trade. The nature 
of our population has been changed by the enor- 
mous immigration of the last fifty years. More- 
over, instead of an absolute freedom from debt 
the nation has had to endure the legacy of debt 
left by the Civil War, to meet which a develop- 
ment of all its resources of manufacture as well 
as of agriculture is required. 


To arrive at a correct estimate of Mr. Galla- 
tin's administration of the Treasury Department, 
a cursory review of the establishment as he re- 
ceived it from the hands of Mr. Wolcott is neces- 
sary. This review is confined to administration 
tu its limited sense, namely, the direction of its 
clerical management under the provisions of statute 
law. The organization of the department as origi- 
nated by Hamilton and established by the act of 
September 2, 1789, provided for a secretary of 
the treasury as head of the department, whose 
general duty should be to supervise the fiscal af- 
fairs of the country, and particularly to suggest 
a»id prepare plans for the improvement and sup- 
port of the public credit; and, under his direction 
a;id supervision, a comptroller to adjust and pre- 
serve accounts; an auditor to receive, examine, 
and rectify accounts ; a treasurer to receive, keep, 
and disburse moneys on warrants signed and coun- 


tersigned; a register to keep the accounts of re- 
ceipts and expenditures; and an assistant to the 
secretary of the treasury to fill any vacancy from 
absence or other temporary cause. In addition to 
the departments of State, Treasury, and War, a 
fourth, that of the Navy, was established April 
30, 1798. The three departments were brought 
into relation with that of the Treasury by an act 
passed July 16, 1798, supplementary to that or- 
ganizing the Treasury, and which provided, 1st, 
for the appointment of an accountant in each 
department, who was required to report to the ac- 
counting officer of the Treasury; 2d, that the 
Treasurer of the United States should only dis- 
burse by warrants on the Treasury, countersigned 
by the accountant of the Treasury; 3d, that all 
purchases for supplies for military or naval service 
should be subject to the inspection and revision 
of the officers of the Treasury. Mr. Jefferson, 
after his usual fashion of economy in the wrong 
direction, proposed to Mr. Gallatin "to amalga- 
mate the comptroller and auditor into one, and 
i educe the register to a clerk of accounts : so that 
the organization should consist, as it should at 
first, of a keeper of money, a keeper of accounts, 
and the head of the department." But in the 
Treasury Department there was no extravagance 
during Gallatin's administration, and the shift- 
ing of responsibility would bring no saving of sal- 

In May, 1800, an act was passed making it u the 


duty of the secretary of the treasury to digest, 
prepare, and lay before Congress at the commence- 
ment of every session a report on the subject of 
finances, containing estimates of the public revenue 
and expenditures, and plans for improving and 
increasing the revenue from time to time, for the 
purpose of giving information to Congress in 
adopting modes for raising the money requisite to 
meet the expenditures." Hamilton had never sent 
in any other than a statement of expenditure for 
the past fiscal year, together with the estimate of 
the accountant of the Treasury for the proximate 
wants of the departments of government. Mr. 
Gallatin incorporated in his annual report a bal- 
ance sheet in accordance with the ordinary forms 
of book-keeping familiar to every accountant and 
indispensable in every business establishment, and 
such as is presented to the public in the monthly 
and annual statements of the Treasury Department 
at this day. 

The statutes show no legislation during Mr. 
Gallatin's period of administration, and to its 
close he was in continual struggle to force upon 
Congress and the departments an accord with his 
pet plan of minute specific appropriation of the 
sums estimated for and expended by each. Mr. 
Madison heartily agreed with Mr. Gallatin on this 
subject, and on taking office placed the relations 
of the State Department upon the desired footing. 
But the heads of the Army and Navy were never 
willing to consent to the strict limitation which 


Mr. Gallatin would have imposed on their expen- 
ditures. In his notes to Jefferson for the draft 
of his first message in 1801, Mr. Gallatin said 
that the most important reform he could suggest 
was that of ' specific appropriations,' and he in- 
closed an outline of a form to be enforced in de- 
tail. In January, 1802, he sent to Joseph H. 
Nicholson a series of inquiries to be addressed to 
himself by a special committee on the subject, 
with regard to the mode by which money was 
drawn from the Treasury and the situation of 
accounts between that department and those of 
the Army and Navy. To these questions he sent 
in to the House an elaborate reply, which he in- 
tended to be the basis of legislation. Strict ap- 
propriation was the ideal at which he aimed, and 
this word was so often on his tongue or in his 
messages that it could not be mentioned without 
a suggestion of his personality. He carried the 
same nicety of detail into his domestic life. He 
managed his own household expenses, and at a 
time when bountiful stores were the fashion in 
every household he insisted on a rigid observance 
of the more precise French system. He made an 
appropriation of a certain sum each day for his 
expenses, and required from his purveyor a strict 
daily account of disbursements. An amusing story 
is told of him at his own table. On an occasion 
when entertaining a company at dinner, he was 
dissatisfied with the menu and expressed his disap- 
probation to his maitre d' hotel, a Frenchman, who 


replied to him in broken English, that it was not 
his fault, but that of the "mal-appropriations.'' 

The example set by Mr. Gallatin in this particu- 
lar was never forgotten, and from his day to this 
strict accountability has been the tradition of the 
Treasury Department, now greatly increased in 
detail, but in structure essentially as it was origi- 
nally organized. Of its management Mr. Sher- 
man was able to say in his report of December 1, 
1879, "The organization of the several bureaus is 
such, and the system of accounting so perfect, that 
the financial transactions of the government during 
the past two years, aggregating $3,354,345,040, 
have been adjusted without question with the ex- 
ception of a few small balances, now in the process 
of collection, of which it is believed that the gov- 
ernment will eventually lose less than #13,000, or 
less than four mills for each $1000 of the amount 
involved;' and in 1880 he said with entire truth, 
"The department is a well organized and well 
conducted business office, depending mainly for its 
success upon the integrity and fidelity of the heads 
of bureaus and chiefs of divisions." 


There is no more instructive chapter in the his- 
tory of finance than that upon the banking system 
of the United States. It has its distinct eras of 
radical change, each of which presents a series of 
tentative experiments. The outcome, by a process 
of development, in which political expediency has 


been as effective an agency as financial necessity, is 
the present national banking system. Though the 
term "government," or "national," bank is con- 
stantly used in reference to the great banking insti- 
tutions of England, France, and the United States, 
no one of these is in the true sense of the word a 
national bank. The Bank of England is a char- 
tered corporation, the Bank of France an associa- 
tion instituted by law. The Bank of North Amer- 
ica, and the Bank of the United States which 
followed it, were founded on the same principle. 
Both were corporations of individuals intimately 
connected with the government, enjoying certain 
privileges accorded and being under certain re- 
strictions, but otherwise independent of govern- 
ment control. 

The Bank of North America, the first bank es- 
tablished in the United States, was also the first 
which had any direct relation to the government. 
It was the conception of the comprehensive and 
original mind of Robert Morris, the financier or 
superintendent of the public finances of the United 
States. Its purpose was not the convenience or 
profit of individuals, but to draw together the scat- 
tered financial resources of the country and found 
a public credit. He submitted his plan to Con- 
gress, which adopted a resolution of approval May 
26, 1781. The original plan contemplated a capi- 
tal of ten millions of dollars ; but the collection of 
such a sum in gold and silver in one depository 
was beyond the range of possibility at that period, 


and the capital was finally fixed at four hundred 
thousand dollars, in one thousand shares of four 
hundred dollars each. Subscription books were 
immediately opened, but not more than $70,000 
was entered during the summer months. The 
arrival at Boston of a French war frigate with a 
remittance of $470,000 in specie, which was brought 
to Philadelphia and deposited in the vaults of the 
bank, enabled Mr. Morris to mature his plans. 
He designed to retain this sum in the bank as 
a specie basis; but the necessities of the country 
were so urgent during the critical season of the 
Yorktown campaign, that nearly one half of it 
was exhausted before an organization could be 
effected. In December Congress passed an ordi- 
nance of incorporation. Mr. Morris then sub- 
scribed the specie remaining in the Treasury, about 
$254,000, for shares for account of the United 
States, which became thereby the principal stock- 
holder. The limit assigned by the ordinance re- 
mained, however, at ten millions of dollars. There 
was nothing in the acts of Congress which implied 
any exclusive right of the United States govern- 
ment in the bank except during the war of the 
Revolution. A local charter was obtained from 
the legislature of Pennsylvania, and the bank was 
opened in Philadelphia for the transaction of busi- 
ness in January, 1782. Its services to the gov- 
ernment during the period of the war were inesti- 
mable. In the words of Hamilton, "American 
independence owes much to it." But after the 


war such were the local jealousies, the fears of 
oppression, and the dread of foreign influence, 
that, on the petition of the inhabitants of Phila- 
delphia and some of the neighboring counties, the 
legislature of Pennsylvania repealed its charter 
on September 13, 1785. The bank continued its 
operations, however, under the charter from Con- 
gress. On March 17, 1787, the legislature of 
Pennsylvania renewed the charter for fourteen 
years and limited the capital to two millions of 
dollars. The charter was extended for a similar 
term of fourteen years on March 26, 1799. Thus 
in the beginning of the American banking system 
are found that distrust and jealousy of money 
power which seem inherent in democracies. The 
exercise of state jurisdiction over the existence of 
the Bank of North America suggested possible 
embarrassments, which could not escape the dis- 
cernment of Hamilton, whose policy, as it was also 
that of the Federal party, was to strengthen the 
powers of the government in every vital branch of 

In his comprehensive plan of government Ham- 
ilton included a financial institution to develop 
the national resources, strengthen the public credit, 
aid the Treasury Department in its administration, 
and provide a secure and sound circulating medium 
for the people. On December 13, 1790, he sent 
in to Congress a report on the subject of a national 
bank. The Republican party, then in the minor- 


ity, opposed the plan as unconstitutional, on the 
ground that the power of creating banks or any 
corporate body had not been expressly delegated 
to Congress, and was therefore not possessed by 
it. Washington's cabinet was divided; Jefferson 
opposing the measure as not within the implied 
powers, because it was an expediency and not a 
paramount necessity. Later he used stronger lan- 
guage, and denounced the institution as "one of 
the most deadly hostility existing against the prin- 
ciples and form of our Constitution," nor did he 
ever abandon these views. There is the authority 
of Mr. Gallatin for saying that Jefferson "died 
a decided enemy to our banking system generally, 
and specially to a bank of the United States." 
But Hamilton's views prevailed. Washington, 
who in the weary years of war had seen the im- 
perative necessity of some national organization 
of the finances, after mature deliberation approved 
the plan, and on February 25, 1791, the Bank of 
the United States was incorporated. The capital 
stock was limited to twenty -five thousand shares 
of four hundred dollars each, or ten millions of 
dollars, payable one fourth in gold and silver, and 
three fourths in public securities bearing an inter- 
est of six and three per cent. The stock was im- 
mediately subscribed for, the government taking 
five thousand shares, two millions of dollars, under 
the right reserved in the charter. The subscrip- 
tion of the United States was paid in ten equal 
annual installments. A large proportion of the 


stock was held abroad, and the shares soon rose 
above par. By an act of March 2, 1791, the 
funded three per cents, were also made receivable 
in payment of subscriptions to the bank, whence 
it has been said that out of the funding system 
sprung the bank, as three fourths of its capital 
consisted of public stocks. Authority was given 
the bank to establish offices of discount and de- 
posit within the United States. The chief bank 
was placed in Philadelphia, and branches were 
established in eight cities, with capitals in propor- 
tion to their commercial importance. 

In 1809 the stockholders of the Bank of the 
United States memorialized the government for 
a renewal of their charter, which would expire 
on March 4, 1811; and on March 9, 1809, Mr. 
Gallatin sent in a report in which he reviewed 
the operations of the bank from its organization. 
Of the government shares, five million dollars at 
par, two thousand four hundred and ninety-three 
shares were sold in 1796 and 1797 at an advance 
of 25 per cent., two hundred and eighty-seven in 
1797 at an advance of 20 per cent., and the re- 
maining 2220 shares in 1802, at an advance of 
45 per cent., making together, exclusive of the 
dividends, a profit of $671,680 to the United 
States. Eighteen thousand shares of the bank 
stock were held abroad, and seven thousand shares, 
or a little more than one fourth part of the capital, 
in the United States. A table of all the dividends 
made by the bank showed that they had on the 


average been at the rate of 8| (precisely 8^|) per 
cent, a year, which proved that the bank had not 
in any considerable degree used the public deposits 
for the purpose of extending its discounts. From 
a general view of the debits and credits, as pre- 
sented, it appeared that the affairs of the Bank 
of the United States, considered as a moneyed 
institution, had been wisely and skillfully man- 
aged. The advantages derived by the government 
Mr. Gallatin stated to be, 1, safekeeping of the 
public moneys; 2, transmission of the public mon- 
eys; 3, collection of the revenue; 4, loans. The 
strongest objection to the renewal of the charter 
lay in the great portion of the bank stock held by 
foreigners. Not on account of any influence over 
the institution, since they had no vote; but because 
of the high rate of interest payable by America 
to foreign countries. If the charter were not re- 
newed the principal of that portion, amounting to 
$7,200,000, must at once be remitted abroad; but 
if the charter were renewed, dividends equal to 
an interest of about 8^ per cent, per annum must 
be remitted. Mr. Gallatin's report closed with 
the following suggestions : — 

I. That the bank should pay an interest to the 
United States on the public deposits above a cer- 
tain sum. 

II. That it should be bound to lend the United 
States a sum not exceeding three fifths of its capi- 

III. That the capital stock of the bank should 


be increased to thirty millions of dollars, to be 
subscribed for, 1, five millions by citizens of the 
United States; 2, fifteen millions by the States; 
a branch to be established in each subscribing 
State; 3, payments by either individuals or States 
to be in specie or public stock of the United 
States at rates to be fixed by law; the subscrib- 
ing States to pay in ten annual installments. 

IV. That some share should be given in the 
direction to the general and state governments by 
appointment of directors in the general direction 
and branches. 

The result of this plan would be, 1st, that the 
United States might, from the interest on the 
public -deposits, accumulate during years of peace 
and prosperity a treasure sufficient to meet periods 
of war and calamity ; 2d, that they might rely on 
a loan of eighteen millions of dollars in any sud- 
den emergency; 3d, that by the payment in ten 
installments the increase in capital would be in 
proportion to the progressive state of the country; 
4th, that the bank itself would form an additional 
bond of common interest and union amongst the 
several States. But these arguments availed not 
against the blind and ignorant jealousy of the 
Republican majority in the House. The days of 
the bank were numbered. Congress refused to 
prolong its existence, and the institution was dis- 
solved. Fortunately for the country, it wound up 
its affairs with such deliberation and prudence as 
to allow of the interposition of other bank credits 


in lieu of those withdrawn, and thus prevented a 
serious shock to the interests of the community. 
In the twenty years of its existence from 1791 to 
1811 its management was irreproachable. Its an- 
nual dividends from 1791 to 1809 were 8| per 
cent., and its stock, always above par, from 1805 
to 1809 ranged from 20 to 40 per cent, premium. 

In its numerous and varied relations to the gov- 
ernment it had been a useful and faithful servant, 
and its directors had never assumed the. attitude 
of money kings, of which the Jeffersonian demo- 
cracy pretended to stand in hourly dread. To 
the general and important nature of its financial 
service Mr. Gallatin gave his testimony in 1830; 
after his own direct participation in public affairs 
had ended. 

" Experience, however, has since confirmed the great 
utility and importance of a bank of the United States 
in its connection with the Treasury. The first great ad- 
vantage derived from it consists in the safekeeping of 
the public moneys, securing in the first instance the im- 
mediate payment of those received by the principal col- 
lectors, and affording a constant check on all their trans- 
actions ; and afterwards rendering a defalcation in the 
moneys once paid, and whilst nominally in the treasury, 
absolutely impossible. The next, and not less impor- 
tant, benefit is to be found in the perfect facility with 
which all the public payments are made by checks or 
treasury drafts, payable at any place where the bank 
has an office ; all those who have demands against gov- 
ernment are paid in the place most convenient to them ; 


and the public moneys are transferred through our exten- 
sive territory at a moment's warning without any risk 
or expense, to the places most remote from those of col- 
lection, and wherever public exigencies may require." 


Late in life, in a letter to John M. Botts, June 
14, 1841, Mr. Gallatin expressed the same opin- 
ions with regard to the usefulness of a government 
bank as an aid to the Treasury Department, but 
limited his approval to that use. "Except in its 
character of fiscal agent to the general government 
I attach much less importance to a national bank 
than several of those who are in favor of it." 
"Did I believe, 1 ' he adds in the same letter, "that 
a bank of the United States would effectually 
secure us a sound currency, I would think it a 
duty at all hazards to promote the object." 

The reason for his doubts in 1841 is easily seen 
in the impossibility of annihilating or controlling 
the three hundred distinct currencies of as many 
banks, each nominally convertible into specie at 
its point of issue; a financial puzzle which Mr. 
Chase solved in the device and organization of the 
present national banking system, which, without 
involving the government in banking operations, 
affords to the people a homogeneous currency of 
uniform value, and secures its convertibility by 
reasonable but absolute restrictions, upon confor- 
mity to which the existence of the banks depends. 
The exigencies of war compelled an acquiescence 
in the plans of Mr. Chase, which, at the time 
when Mr. Gallatin expressed his doubts, could 


not have been had in any system whatever which 
involved the subordination of the banks. 

The wide spread of the state bank system, with 
its irresponsible and unlimited issues, occurring 
subsequent to Mr. Gallatin's withdrawal from the 
Treasury, was a consequence of the failure to re- 
new the charter of the Bank of the United States ; 
and if ever there were a system by which the in- 
habitants of States whose floating capital was 
small were placed at the mercy of moneyed cor- 
porations of the States where it was abundant, it 
was the state bank system. The experience of 
the old confederation had not taught this lesson. 
The colonial system was continued by the several 
States, and bills of credit were issued on their 
faith. The continental system was a compound 
of the main features of this plan. The bills were 
issued by the Congress, but the States were relied 
upon for their ultimate redemption. 

The collapse of the entire fabric of finance led 
to the establishment of the Bank of North Amer- 
ica, the notes of which were redeemable and re- 
deemed at the bank counters. The article in the 
Constitution of 1787, prohibiting the issue of bills 
of credit by the States, was evidently intended to 
secure a uniform currency to the people of the 
United States, and it has been by a strange per- 
version of this manifest intention that the power 
has been conceded to the States to charter corpora- 
tions to do that which was forbidden to themselves 
in their sovereign capacity; namely, to issue bills 



of credit, which bank-notes are. It is idle to say 
that, because such bills were not a "legal tender," 
they were therefore not of the character which the 
Constitution forbade. Necessity knows no law, 
and in the absence of any other currency the peo- 
ple were perforce compelled to take what they 
could get. Experience later showed that large 
amounts of paper money manufactured in one 
State were easily put in circulation in far distant 
communities, and considerable sums, through the 
operations of wear and tear and the vicissitudes 
incident to its fragile nature, never returned to 
plague the inventor. 

At the time of the organization of the National 
Bank by Hamilton, there were but three banks in 
the United States: the Bank of North America, 
the Bank of New York, and the Bank of Massa- 
chusetts. Their added capital amounted to two 
millions of dollars, and their issues were inconsid- 

Mr. Gallatin estimated that in January, 1811, 
just before the expiration of the bank charter, 
there were in the United States eighty-eight state 
banks with a capital of $42,612,000. 


Notes in Circu- 


Bank of the United States 
Eighty-eight State Banks 








Over the local institutions the Bank of the 
United States always exercised a salutary control, 
checking any disposition to overtrade by restrain- 
ing their issues and holding them to a proper 
specie reserve; and this by no other interference 
except its countenance or ill favor, as such banks 
severally observed or disregarded the ordinary rules 
of financial prudence. The immediate effect of 
the refusal of Congress to recharter the Bank 
of the United States was to bring the Treasury 
to the verge of bankruptcy. The interference of 
Parish, Girard, and Astor alone saved the credit 
of the government, and this interference was no 
doubt prompted by self-interest. That Mr. Astor 
was hostile to the bank is certain. Gallatin wrote 
to Madison in January, 1811, that Mr. Astor had 
sent him a verbal message, "that in case of non- 
renewal of the charter of the Bank of the United 
States, all his funds and those of his friends, to 
the amount of two millions of dollars, would be at 
the command of government, either in importing 
specie, circulating government paper, or in any 
other way best calculated to prevent any injury 
arising from the dissolution of the bank," and he 
added that Mr. Bentson, Mr. Astor's son-in-law, 
in communicating this message said, "that in this 
instance profit was not Mr. Astor's object, and 
that he would go great lengths, partly from pride 
and partly from wish, to see the bank down." In 
1813, when the bank was "down," Mr. Gallatin 
was no longer master of the situation. He offered 


to treat directly with Parish, Girard, and Astor for 
ten millions of dollars, but finding some hesitation, 
he opened the loan for subscription. When the 
subscription failed, he was at the mercy of the 

Another immediate effect of the dissolution of 
the bank was the withdrawal from the country of 
the foreign capital invested in the bank, more 
than seven millions of dollars. This amount was 
remitted, in the twelve months preceding the war, 
in specie. Specie was at that time a product for- 
eign to the United States, and by no means easy 
to obtain. Specie, as Mr. Gallatin profoundly 
observed, does not precede, but follows wealth. 
The want of it nearly destroyed Morris's original 
plan for the Bank of North America, and was 
only made up by the fortunate receipt of the 
French remittances. In 1808 the specie in the 
vaults of the treasury reached fourteen millions 
of dollars, but during the operation of the Em- 
bargo Act, the banks of New England had grad- 
ually accumulated a specie reserve, and that of 
Richmond, Virginia, pursued the same policy. 
Together they held one third of the entire specie 
reserve of the banks. The amount of specie in 
the Bank of the United States, January 1, 1811, 
had fallen to $5,800,000, which soon found its 
way abroad. 

The notes of the Bank of the United States, 
payable on demand in gold and silver at the coun- 


ters of the bank, or any of its branches, were, by 
its charter, receivable in all payments to the 
United States ; but this quality was also stripped 
from them on March 19, 1812, by a repeal of the 
act according it. To these disturbances of the 
financial equilibrium of the country was added the 
necessary withdrawal of fifteen millions of bank 
credit and its transfer to other institutions. This 
gave an extraordinary impulse to the establishment 
of local banks, each eager for a share of the profits. 
The capital of the country, instead of being con- 
centrated, was dissipated. Between January 1, 
1811, and 1815, one hundred and twenty new 
banks were chartered, and forty millions of dollars 
were added to the banking capital. To realize 
profits, the issues of paper were pushed to the 
extreme of possible circulation. Meanwhile New 
England kept aloof from the nation. The specie 
in the vaults of the banks of Massachusetts rose 
from $1,706,000 on June 1, 1811, to $7,326,000 
on June 1, 1814. This was a consequence of the 
New England policy of opposition. Mr. Gallatin 
estimated that the proceeds of loans, exclusive 
of treasury notes and temporary loans, paid into 
the treasury from the commencement of the war 
to the end of the year 1814 were $41,010,000: of 
which sum the Eastern States lent $2,900,000; 
the Middle States, $35,790,000; Southwestern 
States, $2,320,000. 

The floating debt of the United States, consist- 


ing of treasury notes and temporary loans unpaid, 
amounted, January 1, 1815, to $11,250,000, of 
which nearly four fifths were loaned by the cities 
of New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, and 
the District of Columbia. The suspension of the 
banks was precipitated by the capture of Washing- 
ton. It began in Baltimore, which was threatened 
by the British, and was at once followed in Phila- 
delphia and New York. Before the end of Sep- 
tember all the banks south and west of New 
England had suspended specie payment. In his 
"Considerations on the Currency," Mr. Gallatin 
expressed his — 

" deliberate opinion that the suspension might have 
been prevented at the time when it took place, had the 
Bank of the United States been in existence. The ex- 
aggerated increase of state banks, occasioned by the 
dissolution of that institution, would not have occurred. 
That bank would as before have restrained them within 
proper bounds and checked their issues, and through the 
means of its offices it would have been in possession of 
the earliest symptoms of the approaching danger. It 
would have put the Treasury Department on its guard ; 
both, acting in concert, would certainly have been able, 
at least, to retard the event ; and as the treaty of peace 
was ratified within less than six months after the sus- 
pension took place, that catastrophe would have been 

But within fifteen months the bank issues increased 
from forty -five and a half to sixty millions. 






Banks of New England . 
Other Banks .... 




1815. 208 State Banks . 

1816. 246 State Banks . 




The depression of the local currencies ranged from 
seven to twenty -five per cent. In New York and 
Charleston it was seven to ten per cent, below the 
par of coin. At Philadelphia from seventeen to 
eighteen per cent. At Washington and Baltimore 
from twenty to tw r enty-two, and at Pittsburgh and 
on the frontier, twenty-five per cent, below par. 
The circulating medium, or measure of values, 
being doubled, the price of commodities was dou- 
bled. The agiotage, of course, was the profit of 
the bankers and brokers; a sum estimated at six 
millions of dollars a year, or ten per cent, on the 
exchanges of the country, which McDuffie, in his 
celebrated report, estimated at sixty millions an- 

In November the Treasury Department found 
itself involved in the common disaster. The re- 
fusal of the banks, in which the public moneys 
were deposited, to pay their notes or the drafts 
upon them in specie deprived the government of 
its gold and silver; and their refusal, likewise, 
of credit and circulation to the issues of banks in 
other States deprived the government also of the 


only means it possessed for transferring its funds 
to pay the dividends on the debt and discharge the 
treasury notes. Mr. Dallas found himself com- 
pelled to appeal to the banks by circular to sub- 
scribe for sufficient treasury notes to secure them 
such advances as might be asked of them for the 
discharge of the public obligations. 

"In the latter end of the year 1814," says Mr. 
Gallatin, "Mr. Jefferson suggested the propriety 
of a gradual issue by government of two hundred 
millions of dollars in paper ; ' commenting upon 
which Mr. Gallatin remarks that Mr. Jefferson, 
from the imperfect data in his possession, "greatly 
overrated the amount of paper currency which 
could be sustained at par; and he had, on the 
other hand, underrated the great expenses of the 
war;" but at "all events," he adds, "the issue of 
government paper ought to be kept in reserve for 
extraordinary circumstances." But here it may 
be remarked that the evolution of the systems of 
American finance seems to lead slowly but surely 
to an entire divorce of banking from currency, 
and the day is not far distant when the circulating 
medium of the United States will consist of gold 
and silver, and of government issues restricted, 
according to the English principle, to the minimum 
of circulation, and kept equivalent to coin by a 
specie reserve in the treasury; while the banks, 
their circulation withdrawn and the institutions 
freed from any tax, will be confined to their legiti- 
mate business of receiving deposits and making 
loans and discounts. 


On October 14, 1814, Alexander J. Dallas, Mr. 
Gallatin's old friend, who had been appointed 
secretary of the treasury on the 6th of the same 
month, in a report of a plan to support the public 
credit, proposed the incorporation of a national 
bank. A bill was passed by Congress, but re- 
turned to it by Madison with his veto on January 
15, 1815. In this peculiar document Madison 
"waived the question of the constitutional autho- 
rity of the legislature to establish an incorporated 
bank, as being precluded, in his judgment, by 
repeated recognitions, under varied circumstances, 
of the validity of such an institution in acts of the 
legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the 
government." But he objected for reasons of 
detail. Mr. Dallas again, as a last resort, insisted 
on a bank as the only means by which the currency 
of the country could be restored to a sound condi- 
tion. In December, 1815, Dallas reported to the 
committee of the House of Representatives on the 
national currency, of which John C. Calhoun was 
chairman, a plan for a national bank, and on 
March 3, 1816, the second Bank of the United 
States was chartered by Congress. The capital 
was thirty-five millions, of which the government 
held seven millions in seventy thousand shares of 
one hundred dollars each. Mr. Madison approved 
the bill. This completed the abandonment of 
every shred of principle claimed by the Republi- 
can party as their rule of action. They struggled 
through the rest of their existence without a politi- 


cal conviction. The national bank, and the system 
of internal taxation which had been scorned by 
Jefferson and Madison as unconstitutional, were 
accepted actually under Madison's administration. 
Gallatin's success, owing to the development and 
application of Hamilton's plans, was a complete 
vindication of the theory and practice of the Fed- 
eralists which they abhorred; Jefferson's plan of 
a government issue of paper money was a higher 
flight into the upper atmosphere of implied powers 
than Hamilton ever dreamed of. 

The second national bank of the United States 
was also located at Philadelphia, and chartered for 
twenty years. The manner in which it performed 
its financial service is admirably set forth in Mr. 
Gallatin's "Considerations on the Currency," 
already mentioned. It acted as a regulator upon 
the state banks, checked excessive issues on their 
part, and brought the paper currency of the coun- 
try down from sixty-six to less than forty millions, 
before the year 1820. 

In April, 1816, Mr. Dallas having signified his 
intention to resign the Treasury, Mr. Madison 
wrote to Gallatin, offering him his choice between 
the mission to France and the Treasury Depart- 
ment. Mr. Gallatin's reply was characteristic. 
He declined the Treasury, but with reluctance, 
since he thought he would be more useful at home 
than abroad, and because he preferred to be in 
America rather than in Europe. One of his pre- 
ponderating reasons was that, although he felfc 


himself competent to the higher duties of the office, 
there was, for what he conceived "a proper man- 
agement of the Treasury, a necessity for a mass 
of mechanical labor connected with details, forms, 
calculating, etc., which, having lost sight of the 
thread and routine, he could not think of again 
learning and going through." He was aware that 
there was "much confusion due to the changes of 
office and the state of the currency, and thought 
that an active young man could alone reinstate 
and direct properly that department." 

In June of the same year, while waiting for the 
Peacock, which was to carry him across the sea, 
Gallatin wrote Mr. Madison an urgent letter, im- 
pressing upon him the necessity of restoring specie 
payment, and his perfect conviction that nothing 
but the will of the government was wanted to re- 
instate the country in its moral character in that 
respect. He dreaded the "paper taint," which 
he found spreading as he journeyed northward. 

In January, 1817, delegates from the banks of 
New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Virginia 
met in Philadelphia and agreed to a general and 
simultaneous resumption of specie payments. The 
Bank of the United States proposed a compact 
which was accepted by the state banks and ratified 
by the secretary of the treasury. That institution 
engaged, to a reasonable extent, to support any 
bank menaced. This engagement and the impor- 
tation of seven millions of specie from abroad by 
the Bank of the United States secured a general 


restoration of specie payment. In 1822 Mr. Gal- 
latin was tendered and declined the office of presi- 
dent of the Bank of the United States. 

In 1829 he prepared for Mr. Ingham, then 
secretary of the treasury, a masterly statement of 
the relative value of gold and silver. In 1830 
Mr. Gallatin wrote for the "American Quarterly 
Review ' his essay, " Considerations on the Cur- 
rency and Banking System of the United States." 
Appearing at the time when the renewal of the 
charter of the Bank of the United States was an 
absorbing question, this essay was equally sought 
for by both the friends and opponents of the bank. 
It is not confined, however, to this subject, but 
covers the entire field of American finance. His 
treatment of the currency question was novel. He 
analyzed the systems of Europe, compared them 
with those which prevailed in the United States, 
and reached the conclusion, the general correctness 
of which has been justified by the experience of 
all other nations, and sooner or later will be ac- 
cepted by our own; namely, the necessity of a 
currency strong in the precious metals, and the 
restriction of paper money to notes of one hundred 
dollars to be issued by the government. This 
limit is higher than that adopted in France and 
England, but the general principle that a circula- 
ting medium is sound only as it is strong in gold 
and silver, and that gold and silver can only be 
retained permanently by making a place for them 
in the circulating medium by a restriction of paper 


issues, will yet find favor even in this paper-loving 

In 1832 Mr. Gallatin accepted the presidency 
of a bank in New York, the subscription to the 
stock of which, $750,000, was completed by Mr. 
John Jacob Astor on condition that Mr. Gallatin 
should manage its affairs. The direction of its 
concerns, without absorbing his time, kept him in 
the financial current. The bank was called the 
National Bank of New York. But not in this 
modest post was he to find the financial path 
smooth. It is true he had lived in the flesh to see 
the financial millennium. The rapid growth of 
the country and the faithful adherence of his suc- 
cessors in the Treasury Department to the funding 
principle had at last realized his dream. The 
national debt was extinguished. The last dollar 
was paid. Louis McLane, secretary of the treas- 
ury, on December 5, 1832, in his report on the 
finances, said that the dividends derived from the 
bank shares held by the United States were more 
than was required to pay the interest, and that 
the debt might therefore be considered as substan- 
tially extinguished after January 1, 1833. 

On December 3, 1833, Roger B. Taney, secre- 
tary of the treasury, reported to Congress that he 
had directed the removal of the deposits of the 
government from the Bank of the United States 
and placed them in banks of his own selection. 
He gave a number of reasons for this extraordi- 
nary exercise of the power which he obtained by 


his appointment on September 23, 1833. He re- 
ceived his reward in June, 1834, being then trans- 
ferred by President Jackson to the seat of chief 
justice of the Supreme Court. In his annual re- 
port Taney named, among his elaborate reasons 
for the removal, that the bank had used its money 
for electioneering purposes, and that he "had al- 
ways regarded the result of the last election of 
President of the United States as the declaration 
of a majority of the people that the charter ought 
not to be renewed." He further expressed the 
opinion "that a corporation of that description 
was not necessary either for the fiscal operations 
of the government or the general convenience of 
the people." It mattered little to him that Mr. 
Gallatin had only recently pointed out that from 
the year 1791 the operations of the Treasury had, 
without interruption, been carried on through the 
medium of banks; during the years 1811 to 1814, 
by the state banks, with a result which no one had 
as yet forgotten; before and since that brief in- 
terval through the Bank of the United States. 
Enough for Taney, that it was the will of his im- 
perious master, ' the pugnacious animal, ' as Gal- 
latin aptly termed him. 

In October, 1834, Taney's successor in the 
Treasury, Levi Woodbury, gave notice that the 
remaining debt, unredeemed after January 1, 
1835, would cease to bear interest and be promptly 
paid on application to the commissioners of loans 
in the several States. On December 8, 1835, Mr. 


Woodbury reported "an unprecedented spectacle 
, presented to the world of a government virtually 
without any debts and without any direct taxa- 
tion." The surplus revenues, about thirty-seven 
and a half millions of dollars, had by an act of 
the previous session been distributed among the 
several States. But the secretary and the country 
soon found that they were on dangerous ground. 
In December, 1837, the same secretary, alarmed 
at his responsibility, said to Congress, in warning 
words, " We are without any national debt to ab- 
sorb and regulate surpluses, or any adequate sup- 
ply of banking institutions which provide a sound 
currency for general purposes by paying specie on 
demand, or which are in a situation fully to com- 
mand confidence for keeping, disbursing, and trans- 
ferring the public funds in a satisfactory manner." 
The Bank of the United States, on the expira- 
tion of its charter in March, 1836, accepted a 
charter from the State of Pennsylvania; but, 
though its influence continued to be as great, its 
direction was no longer the same. Abandoning 
its legitimate business, it speculated in merchan- 
dise, and even kept an agent in New Orleans to 
compete with the Barings in purchases of the cot- 
ton crop as a basis for exchange. Precisely as in 
1811, after the withdrawal of the control of the 
Bank of the United States, the state banks ran a 
wild career of speculation. From 1830 to 1837 
three hundred new banks sprang up with an ad- 
ditional capital of one hundred and forty -five mil- 


lions, doubling, as twenty years before, the banking 
capital of the country. This volume the deposits 
of the Treasury continued to swell. Mr. Wood- 
bury was the first to take alarm. In December, 
1836, he reported the specie in the country to 
have increased from thirty millions in 1833 to 
seventy-three millions at the date of his report, 
and the paper circulation, in the same period, to 
have advanced, since the removal of the deposits 
from the Bank of the United States, from eighty 
millions to one hundred and twenty millions, or 
forty millions in eighteen months; and the bank 
capital, in the same period, to have increased from 
two hundred to three hundred millions. Importa- 
tion augmented; the balance of trade suddenly 
turned against the United States to the extent of 
one hundred and fifty millions, and coin began to 
flow abroad to liquidate the account. There was 
no debt to attract foreign investment and arrest 
the export of specie. Added to this was the with- 
drawal of the government deposits from the pet 
banks, which compelled an immediate contraction. 
The result was inevitable. On May 10, 1837, 
the New York banks suspended, Mr. Gallatin's 
institution being of course dragged down with the 
rest. It is idle to suppose that any single bank 
can hold out against a general suspension. It 
may liquidate or become a bank of deposits, but it 
cannot maintain its relations with its sister insti- 
tutions except on a basis of common accord. 

A general suspension followed. Mr. Woodbury 


proved himself equal to the emergency, and recom- 
mended a plan of "keeping the public money un- 
der new legislative provisions without using banks 
at all as fiscal agents." This was the beginning 
of the sub -treasury system, a new departure in 
treasury management, and a further evolution in 
American finance. It still remains, and will no 
doubt be permanent. Its establishment was neces- 
sary because of the absence of a national bank. 

Mr. Gallatin at once turned his attention to 
bring about first a liquidation and then a resump- 
tion. It was a favorite maxim with him, that 
"the agonies of resumption are far harder to en- 
dure than those of suspension," as it is easier to 
refrain from lapse of virtue than to restore moral 
integrity once impaired. But in resumption the 
suffering falls where it belongs, on the careless, 
the improvident, and the over-trader. 

On August 15, 1837, the officers of the banks 
of New York city, in a general meeting, appointed 
a committee of three to call a convention of the 
principal banks to agree upon a time for a resump- 
tion of specie payments. This committee, of which 
Mr. Gallatin was chairman, on August 18 ad- 
dressed a circular to the principal banks in the 
United States, inviting the expression of their 
wishes as to the time and place for a convention, 
suggesting New York as the place, and October, 
1837, as the time. They said, in addition, that 
the banks of New York city, in view of the law 
of the State dissolving them as legal corporations 


in case of suspension for one year, must resume at 
some time between January 1 and March 15, 1838. 
The circular committed the New York banks to 
no definite action, but expressed the opinion that 
the fall in the rate of exchanges indicated an early 
return of specie to par, when resumption could be 
effected without danger. The banks of Philadel- 
phia held a meeting on August 29, and adopted 
resolutions declaring it inexpedient to appoint 
delegates to the proposed convention. Aware of 
the reasons for this action, the chief of which was 
the extended and perhaps insolvent condition of 
the United States Bank of Pennsylvania, the New 
York committee invited the banks in the several 
States to appoint delegates to meet on November 
27, 1837, in New York. Delegates from banks 
of seventeen States and the District of Columbia 
appeared. On the 30th resolutions were brought 
in recommending a general resumption on July 1, 
without precluding an earlier resumption on the 
part of such banks as might find it necessary. 
The Pennsylvania banks opposed this action with 
resolutions condemning the idea of immediate re- 
sumption as impracticable, and also, in the absence 
of delegates from the banks of Louisiana, Missis- 
sippi, Alabama, and Tennessee, as unwise. The 
convention met again on December 2, when an 
adjournment was carried to April 11, 1838, when 
delegates from the banks not represented were in- 
vited to attend. Mr. Gallatin saw that the com- 
bination of the Philadelphia and Boston banks, 


under the lead of Mr. Biddle, would certainly 
force a further postponement. Exchange on Lon- 
don, which had been as high as 121, the true par 
being about 109|-, nominal, had fallen to lllj, 
which, considering that the city bank paper was 
at a discount of five per cent., was at the rate of 
2|- per cent, below specie par. The exportation 
of specie had entirely ceased. 

On December 15 Mr. Gallatin and his commit- 
tee appointed at the general convention submitted 
a report which he had drafted, which, though ad- 
dressed to the New York banks, covered the whole 
ground. Meanwhile the highest authority in Penn- 
sylvania had given it as his opinion "that the 
banks of Pennsylvania were in a much sounder 
state than before the suspension, and that the re- 
sumption of specie payments, so far as it depends 
on their situation and resources, may take place 
at any time." 

On February 28, 1838, Mr. Gallatin's commit- 
tee made a further report showing that the liabili- 
ties of the New York banks had been reduced 
more than twelve millions and a half, or fifty per 
cent., and asserting that with the support of the 
community and the state authorities they could 
resume on an equal footing on May 10. This 
declaration was welcomed with great satisfaction 
by a general meeting of the citizens of New York. 
On April 11 the general convention again met in 
New York. The Philadelphia banks declined to 
attend. A letter from Mr. Woodbury promised 


the support of the Treasury Department. A com- 
mittee of one from each State was appointed, 
which recommended the first Monday in October 
as the earliest day for a general resumption. The 
convention could not, however, be brought to fix 
upon so early a day, but finally fixed upon Janu- 
ary 1, 1839, and adjourned. The New York 
banks would have accepted July 1, 1838, but this 
being refused they resumed alone on May 10, and 
the force of public opinion compelled resumption 
by nearly all the banks of the country on July 1. 

The terrible contraction was fatal to the United 
States Bank of Pennsylvania, which after a vain 
struggle closed its doors in October, 1839, and 
carried with it the entire banking system of the 
Southern and Southwestern States. Although in 
no way similar to the semi -governmental institu- 
tions which preceded it, yet, from its similarity 
of name and identity of location, its disastrous fail- 
ure added to the blind popular distrust of its pre- 
decessors, which narrow-minded politicians had 
fostered for their own selfish purposes. Fortu- 
nately the sub-treasury plan of Mr. Woodbury 
supplied the need of a safe place of deposit which, 
since the refusal of Congress to renew the charter 
of the old bank, had been sorely felt. 

In 1838, on the foundation of the Bank of Com- 
merce under the free banking law of the State of 
New York, the presidency of it was first tendered 
to Mr. Gallatin. The directors of this bank were 
among the most distinguished financiers of the 


city, and its object was to provide a conservative 
institution with sufficient power and capital to act 
as a regulator upon the New York banks. Profit 
to the stockholders was secondary to the reserve 
power for general advantage. 

In June, 1839, Mr. Gallatin resigned his post 
as president of the National Bank of New York. 
In 1841 he published a financial essay, which he 
entitled "Suggestions on the Banks and Currency 
of the United States," a paper full of information, 
but from the nature of the subject not to be com- 
pared in general interest with his earlier paper, 
which is as fresh to-day as when it was written* 
Mr. Gallatin condemned paper currency as an 
artificial stimulus, and the ultimate object of his 
essays was to annihilate what he termed the "dan- 
gerous instrument." He admitted its utility and 
convenience, when used with great sobriety, but 
he deprecated its tendency to degenerate into a 
depreciated and irredeemable currency. This ten- 
dency the present national banking law arrests, 
but the law rather invites than prohibits the stimu- 
lus of increased issues. The last word has not yet 
been said on national currency, which, though the 
basis of all commercial transactions, has neces- 
sarily no other relation to banks than that which 
it holds to any individual in the community. 

Economic questions have interested the highest 
order of mind on the two continents. Sismondi 
published a paper on commercial wealth in 1803, 
and in 1810 a memoir on paper money, which he 


prepared to show how it might be suppressed in 
the Austrian dominions ; Humboldt made a special 
study of the sources and quantity of the precious 
metals in the world, in which Mr. Gallatin aided 
him by investigation in America. Michel Cheva- 
lier was interested in the same subjects ; surviving 
his two masters in the art and witnessing the mar- 
velous effects of the additions made by America 
to the store of precious metals, he continued the 
study in the spirit of his predecessors, and favored 
the world with instructive papers. Mr. Gallatin's 
contributions to this science are remarkable for 
minute research and careful deductions. 

In 1843 President Tyler tendered the Treasury 
portfolio to Mr. Gallatin. The venerable financier 
looked upon the offer as an act of folly to which 
a serious answer seemed hardly necessary. Yet 
as silence might be misconstrued, he replied that 
he wanted no office, and to accept at his age that 
of secretary of the treasury would "be an act of 
insanity." He was then in his eighty -third year. 
The offer of the post was but an ill-considered 
caprice of Mr. Tyler. 



The general principles which Mr. Jefferson 
proposed to apply in his conduct of the govern- 
ment were not principles of organization but of 
administration. The establishments devised by 
Hamilton, in accordance with or in development 
of the provisions of the Constitution, were organic. 
The new policy was essentially restrictive and 
economic. The military and naval establishments 
were to be kept at their lowest possible limit. 
The Treasury Department was to be conducted on 
strictly business principles. The debt was to be 
reduced and finally paid by a fixed annual appro- 
priation. The revenue was to be raised by im- 
posts on importation and tonnage, and by direct 
taxation, if necessary. The public land system 
was to be developed. A scheme of internal im- 
provements by land and water highways was to 
be devised. All these purposes except the last 
had been declared by the opposition during the 
last part of Washington's second term and during 
Adams's presidency, and had been lucidly ex- 
pounded by Madison, Gallatin, Giles, Nicholas, 
and others of the Republican leaders. On all these 


subjects Mr. Gallatin was in accord with his chief. 
Only upon the bank question were they at issue. 
Mr. Jefferson detested or feared the aristocracy of 
money, while Gallatin, with a clearer insight into 
commercial and financial questions, recognized that 
in a young country where capital was limited, and 
specie in still greater disproportion to the increas- 
ing demands of trade, a well-ordered, well -managed 
money institution was an enormous advantage, if 
not an imperative necessity to the government and 
the people. 

Peace was necessary to the success of this gen- 
eral policy of internal progress, but peace was not 
to be had for the asking. It was not till half a 
century later that the power of the western conti- 
nent as a food -producing country was fully felt by 
Europe, and peace with the United States became 
almost a condition of existence to millions in the 
old world, while this country became independent, 
in fact as in name, to the fullest meaning of the 
word. Peace was not menaced during Jefferson's 
first administration, for the Federalists had left 
no legacy of diplomatic discord to embarrass their 
successors. The divisions of opinion were on home 
affairs. The Republican party was the first oppo- 
sition which had reached power since the forma- 
tion of the government. The Federalists had not 
hesitated to confine the patronage of the executive 
to men of their own way of thinking. The Re- 
publicans had attacked that principle. There were 
men even in the ranks of Jefferson's administra- 


tion who scouted the idea that the President of 
the United States could become "the President 
of a party." But practice and principle are not 
always in accord, even in administrations of senti- 
mental purity, and the pressure for office was as 
great in 1800 as it has ever since been on the ar- 
rival of a new party to power. Beyond all other 
departments of government, the Treasury depends 
for its proper service upon business capacity and 
a knowledge of the principles of accounting and 
office routine. Mr. Gallatin was well aware of 
the difficulties his predecessors had encountered in 
finding and retaining competent examining and 
auditing clerks. As there was no reason to sup- 
pose that all this talent was to be found in the 
ranks of the Republican party, and his common 
sense pointed out the folly of limiting the market 
of supply, he early (July 25, 1801) prepared a 
circular to collectors, in which he informed them 
"that the door of office was no longer to be shut 
against any man because of his political opinions, 
but that integrity and capacity suitable to the 
station were to be the only qualifications required ; 
and further, the President, considering freedom 
x>f opinion or freedom of suffrage at public elec- 
tions imprescriptible rights of citizens, would re- 
gard any exercise of official influence to sustain 
or control the same rights in others as injurious to 
the public administration and practically destruc- 
tive of the fundamental principles of a republican 
Constitution." But Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Madi- 


son opposed this simple declaration of a principle 
which has since been the base of every attempt 
at reform in the civil service. Mr. Jefferson an- 
swered that after one half of the subordinates were 
exchanged, talents and worth might alone be in- 
quired into in the case of new vacancies. This 
was a miserable shuffling policy which defeated 
itself. For a Federalist to retain office when such 
a discrimination was applied was of itself a degra- 
dation. Mr. Jefferson here threw away and for- 
ever lost the power to establish the true system, 
and fixed the curse of patronage upon American 
administration. The true principle may be stated 
in the form of an axiom. Administrations should 
rely for continuation upon measures, not on pat- 
ronage. Gallatin yielded with reluctance to the 
spirit of persecution which he did not hesitate to 
say disgraced the Republican cause, and sank 
them to a level with their predecessors. Notwith- 
standing his aversion, he was compelled to follow 
the policy of the cabinet. Its first result was to 
divide the Republican party, and to alienate Burr, 
whose recommendation of Matthew L. Davis for 
the naval office at New York was disregarded. 
Had the new administration declined to make 
removals except for cause, such a dispute would 
have been avoided. As it was, the friends of 
Burr considered the refusal as a declaration of 
war. Appointments became immediately a part 
of the machinery of Republican administration, as 
it had been part of that of their predecessors, and 


each was carefully weighed and considered in its 
reference to party quite as much as to public 

Already looking forward to the next presidential 
election, Gallatin was anxious for an agreement 
upon Jefferson's successor, and even before the 
meeting of the first Congress of his term he 
advised the President on this point, and he also 
proposed the division of every State into election 
districts by a general constitutional provision. 

Jefferson submitted the draft of his annual mes- 
sages to the head of each department, and invited 
their comments. Gallatin was minute in his ob- 
servations, and it is interesting to note the pecu- 
liar precision and caution of his character in the 
nice criticisms of language and style, sometimes 
declaratory, sometimes non-committal, but always 
and obviously reasonable, and often presenting a 
brief argument for the change proposed. In these 
days of woman's rights it is curious to read "Th. 
J. to Mr. Gallatin. The appointment of a woman 
to office is an innovation for which the public is 
not prepared, nor am I." 

Gallatin suggested a weekly general conference 
of the President and the secretaries at what is now 
styled a cabinet meeting, and private conferences 
of the President with each of the secretaries once 
or twice a week on certain days and at fixed hours. 
The business to come before the House was also 
to be considered, and the policy to be pursued de- 
termined upon. Unfortunately in this case again 


Jeffersonian theory did not accord with Jefferson- 
ian practice. Even erratic Randolph complained 
of the want of system at these cabinet meetings, 
where each was at liberty to do and say as he 
chose; a severe trial, this, to Gallatin. In 1845 
Mr. Gallatin wrote to Edward Coles that it was 
"quite unusual to submit to the cabinet the man- 
ner in which the land or naval forces authorized 
by Congress, and for which appropriations had 
been made, should be employed," and added that 
on no occasion, in or out of cabinet, was he ever 
consulted on those subjects prior to the year 1812. 

In the difficulty which arose with the Barbary 
powers Mr. Gallatin earnestly urged the payment 
of an annuity to Tripoli, if necessary for peace. 
He considered it a mere matter of calculation 
whether the purchase of peace was not cheaper 
than the expense of a war. This policy was to be 
continued for eight years, at the end of which he 
hoped that a different tone might be assumed. In 
a note on the message of 1802, Gallatin expressed 
the hope to Jefferson that his administration would 
"afford but few materials for historians." He 
would never sacrifice permanent prosperity to tem- 
porary glitter. 

Mr. Gallatin's counsel was sought, and his 
opinion deferred to, on subjects which did not fall 
directly within the scope of administration. Even 
on questions of fundamental constitutional law his 
judgment was not inferior to that of Madison him- 
self. In one notable instance he differed from 


Mr. Lincoln, the attorney-general, whom he held 
in high esteem as a good lawyer, a fine scholar, 
44 a man of great discretion and sound judgment." 
This was in 1803, when the acquisition of East 
Louisiana and West Florida was a cabinet ques- 
tion. Mr. Lincoln considered that there was a 
difference between a power to acquire territory for 
the United States and the power to extend by 
treaty the territory of the United States, and held 
that the first was unconstitutional. Mr. Gallatin 
held that the United States as a nation have an 
inherent right to acquire territory, and that, when 
acquisition is by treaty, the same constituted au- 
thorities in whom the treaty power is vested have 
a constitutional right to sanction the acquisition, 
and that when the territory has been acquired 
Congress has the power either of admitting into 
the Union as a new State or of annexing to a 
State, with the consent of that State, or of making 
regulations for the government of the territory. 
Mr. Jefferson concurred in this opinion, while at 
the same time he thought it safer not to permit 
the enlargement of the Union except by amend- 
ment of the Constitution. Mr. Gallatin's view 
was practically applied in the cases named, and 
later in the annexation of Texas, although he dis- 
approved of the latter as contrary to good faith 
and the law of nations. He advised Jefferson, 
also, not to lay the treaty by which Louisiana was 
acquired before the House until after its ratifica- 
tion by the Senate, taking the ground that until 


then it was not a treaty, and urging that great 
care should be taken to do nothing: which mi^ht 
be represented as containing any idea of encroach- 
ment on the rights of the Senate. He personally 
interested himself in the arrangements for taking 
possession of New Orleans, and, considering the 
expense as trifling compared with the object, urged 
the dispatch of an imposing force of not less than 
fifteen thousand men, which would add to the 
opinion entertained abroad of our power, resources, 
and energy; five thousand of these to be active 
troops; ten thousand an enrolled reserve. The 
acquisition of Louisiana was the grand popular 
feature of the foreign policy of the first term of 
Jefferson's administration. The internal manage- 
ment left much to be desired. 

While his general views were exalted, and his 
principles would stand the nicest examination in 
their application, Mr. Jefferson was not fortunate 
in his choice of methods or men. It is not enough 
for an administration to be pure; it should be 
above suspicion. This his was not. Time has 
not washed out the stain of his intimacy with Wil- 
liam Duane, the editor of the infamous "Aurora." 
Citizen Duane, as he styled himself in the first 
days of the administration, quarreled with Galla- 
tin because he would not apply the official guillo- 
tine, and thereafter pursued him with uncompro- 
mising hostility. Of favoritism in appointments 
Mr. Gallatin could not be accused. During his 
twelve years in the Treasury he procured places 


for but two friends; one was given an obscure 
clerkship in the department; the other, John 
Badollet, was made register in the land office at 
Vincennes, against whom Gallatin said in the ap- 
plication for appointment which he reluctantly 
made, there was but one objection, "that of being 
his personal and college friend." 

The dispositions for the sale of lands in the 
western territory, the extinguishment of titles, and 
the surveys fell under Mr. Gallatin's general 
supervision, and were the objects of his particular 
care. So also was the establishment of the autho- 
rity of the United States in the Louisiana terri- 
tory. In the course of these arrangements he was 
brought into contact with Mr. Pierre Choteau of 
St. Louis, who controlled the Indian trade of a 
vast territory. The foundation of an intimate ac- 
quaintance was then laid. The influence of this 
remarkable man over the Western Indians and the 
extent of his trading operations with them was 
great, and has never since been equaled. About 
this period Mr. John Jacob Astor informed the 
government that he had an opportunity, of which 
he intended to take advantage, to purchase one 
half of the interest of the Canadian Fur Company, 
which, notwithstanding the treaty of 1794, en- 
grossed the trade by way of Michilimackinac with 
our own Indians. Before that period this lucra- 
tive traffic had been exclusively in British hands, 
and the hostility of the Indian tribes rendered any 
interference in it by Americans dangerous to life 


and property, and their participation since had 
been merely nominal. Jefferson's cabinet received 
the proposal with satisfaction, but, in their strict 
interpretation of the Constitution, could find no 
way of giving any aid to the scheme beyond the 
official promise of protection, which it fell to Mr. 
Gallatin to draft. Mr. Jefferson wrote to Mr. 
Astor a letter to the same effect. Mr. Astor, 
however, was not deterred from his enterprise, but, 
under the charter of the American Fur Company 
granted by the State of New York, extended his 
project to the Indians west of the Rocky Moun- 
tains, and made of it an immense business, em- 
ploying several vessels at the mouth of the Colum- 
bia River and a large land party beyond the Rocky 
Mountains. He finally founded the establishment 
of Astoria. This settlement fell into the hands of 
the British during the war of 1812. Mr. Astor 
sought to persuade the American government to 
permit him to renew the establishment at its close, 
only asking a flag and a lieutenant's command, 
but Mr. Madison would not commit himself to the 

Among Mr. Jefferson's pet schemes was that of 
a substitution of gunboats for fortifications, and 
for supporting the authority of the laws within 
harbors. The mind of Mr. Jefferson had no doubt 
been favorably disposed to this mode of offensive 
defense by the experience of Lafayette at Annapo- 
lis, in his southern expedition in the spring of 
1781, when his entire flotilla, ammunition of war, 


and even the city of Annapolis, were saved from 
destruction by two improvised gunboats, which, 
armed with mortars and hot shot, drove the Brit- 
ish blockading vessels out of the harbor. Jeffer- 
son first suggested the scheme in his annual mes- 
sage of 1804, and Gallatin did not interfere; but 
when, in 1807, the President insisted, in a special 
message, on the building of two hundred vessels 
of this class, Mr. Gallatin objected, because of 
the expense in construction and maintenance, and 
secondly, of their infallible decay. Mr. Jefferson 
persisted, and Mr. Gallatin's judgment was vindi- 
cated by the result. Two years later, of one hun- 
dred and seventy-six gunboats constructed, only 
twenty-four were in actual service. In his letter 
of criticism, Mr. Gallatin gave as his opinion, 
that "it would be an economical measure for every 
naval nation to burn their navy at the end of a 
war and to build a new one when again at war, if 
it was not that time was necessary to build ships 
of war." The principle was the same as to gun- 
boats, and the objection of time necessary for 
building did not exist. 

This year he also laid before the President a 
memorandum of preparatory measures for defense 
against Great Britain, from whom an attack was 
expected by land and sea, and a second plan for 
offensive operations on the northern frontier, which 
is complete in its geographical and topographical 
information, and its estimate of resources in men, 
material, and money. At the same time he urged 


upon Mr. Jefferson to moderate the tone of his 
message, so as not to widen the breach by hurting 
the pride of Great Britain. 

In connection with the land system, Mr. Jeffer- 
son favored, and Mr. Gallatin devised, an exten- 
sive plan of internal improvements. The route of 
the Cumberland road from the Potomac to the 
Ohio was reported to Congress in 1807; a coast 
survey was ordered in the same year. The first 
superintendent was Hassler, a Swiss, whom Mr. 
Gallatin brought to the notice of Mr. Jefferson. 
In 1808 a general plan of improvement was sub- 
mitted to the Senate. This included canals paral- 
lel with the seacoast, making a continuous line of 
inland navigation from the Hudson to Cape Fear; 
a great turnpike from Maine to Georgia; the im- 
provement of the Susquehanna, Potomac, James, 
and Santee rivers to serve the slope from the Alle- 
ghanies to the Atlantic ; of the Alleghany, Monon- 
gahela, and Kanawha, to serve the country west- 
ward to the Mississippi, the head waters of these 
rivers to be connected by four roads across the 
Appalachian range; a canal at the falls of the 
Ohio; a connection of the Hudson with Lake 
Champlain, and of the same river with Lake 
Ontario at Oswego; and a canal around Niag- 
ara Falls. The entire expense he estimated at 
$20,000,000, to be met by an appropriation of 
$2,000,000 a year for ten years; the stock cre- 
ated for turnpikes and canals to be a permanent 
fund for repairs and improvements. 


A national university for education in the higher 
sciences was also recommended by Jefferson in his 
message of 1808, but Mr. Gallatin had little faith 
in the popularity of this scheme. After the con- 
vulsion of 1794 in Geneva, Gallatin's old college 
mate, D'Yvernois, conceived the plan of transport- 
ing the entire University of Geneva to the United 
States, and wrote on the subject to Jefferson and 
Adams ; but his idea was based on the supposition 
that fifteen thousand dollars' income could be had 
from the United States in support of the institu- 
tion, which was, of course, at the time impractica- 
ble. Jefferson believed that these plans of na- 
tional improvement could be carried into effect 
only by an amendment to the Constitution; but 
Mr. Gallatin, as in the bank question, was dis- 
turbed by no such scruples, and he recommended 
Mr. Jefferson to strike from his message the 
words "general welfare," as questionable in their 
nature, and because the proposition seemed to ac- 
knowledge that the words are susceptible of a very 
dangerous meaning. 

To a permanent embargo act Mr. Gallatin was 
from the beginning opposed. He recognized the 
mischief of government prohibitions, and thought 
that statesmen might well hesitate before they 
took the hazard of regulating the concerns of in- 
dividuals. The sequel proved the correctness of 
this judgment. But Mr. Jefferson could not bring 
his mind to any more decisive measure, indeed, 
it may justly be said, to any measure whatever. 


Taking advantage of Mr. Madison's election to 
the presidency, he simply withdrew from the trium- 
virate, and, passing over the subject in silence 
in his last message, he ignominiously left to Mr. 
Madison and Mr. Gallatin the entire responsibil- 
ity which the threatening state of the foreign rela- 
tions of the country imposed on the Republican 

The question was now between the enforcement 
of the Embargo Act and war. To take off the 
embargo seemed a declaration of weakness. To 
add to it a non-importation clause was the only 
alternative. In November, 1808, Mr. Gallatin 
prepared for George W. Campbell, chairman of 
the Committee on Foreign Relations of the House, 
the declaration known as Campbell's report, which 
recited, in clear, compact form, the injuries done 
to the United States by Great Britain, and closed 
with resolutions to the effect that the United States 
could not submit to the edicts of Great Britain 
and France, and with a recommendation of non- 
intercourse and for placing of the country in a 
state of defense. After long debate the resolutions 
were adopted by large majorities, and the policy 
of resistance was finally determined upon — resist- 
ance, not war. Thus the United States resorted, 
as the colonies had resorted in 1774, to a policy 
of non-importation. But the condition of the 
States was not that of the colonies. Then all the 
colonies were commercial, and the entire popula- 
tion was on the seaboard; the prohibition fell with 


equal weight upon all. Now there were large in- 
terior communities whom restrictions upon com- 
merce would rather benefit than injure. Yet nei- 
ther the Sons of Liberty nor the non -importation 
associations had been able to enforce their volun- 
tary agreements either before or after the Con- 
gress of 1774. If this were to be the mode of 
resistance, stringent measures must be adopted to 
make it effective. Mr. Gallatin accordingly called 
upon Congress for the necessary powers. They 
at once responded with the Enforcement Act, which 
Mr. Gallatin proceeded to apply with characteris- 
tic administrative vigor, and summoned Jefferson 
to authorize the collectors of revenue to call the 
military force of the United States to support 
them in the exercise of their restrictive authority. 
There was to be no evasion under the systems 
which Hamilton devised and Gallatin knew so 
well how to administer. 

His annual report made to Congress on Decem- 
ber 10 had clearly set forth the situation, and, 
without recommending war, had pointed out how 
it might be carried on. Macon wrote of him on 
December 4 to their mutual friend, Joseph H. 
Nicholson, "Gallatin is decidedly for war." Af- 
ter his report was sent in the situation became still 
more perplexing. Rumors came of an intention 
to call a convention of the five New England 
States, with New York, if possible, to take ground 
against the embargo. As these indications of dis- 
satisfaction became manifest, and the contingency 


of the employment of force at home presented itself, 
Gallatin made a careful balance of the advantages 
and inconveniences of embargo, non-intercourse, 
and letters of marque. This paper, dated Febru- 
ary, 1809, and entitled, "Notes on the Political 
Situation," no doubt served as a brief for consul- 
tation with Madison upon his inaugural message, 
it being then understood that Gallatin was to be 
secretary of state. As he states one of the advan- 
tages of letters of marque to be u a greater chance 
of unity at home," this measure he probably pre- 
ferred. The Senate had already, on January 4, 
passed a bill ordering out the entire naval force 

A. O 

of the country, and on the 10th the House adopted 
the same bill by a vote of 64 to 59. Mr. Gallatin 
opposed this action strenuously. On February 2 
the House voted by a large majority to remove the 
embargo on March 4. Non -intercourse with Great 
Britain and France and trade everywhere else were 
now the conditions. This significant expression 
of the feeling of Congress no doubt determined 
Mr. Gallatin to suggest letters of marque. Whether 
he pressed them upon Mr. Madison or not is un- 
certain. Meanwhile Mr. Gallatin suffered the 
odium of opposition to the will of Congress, and 
Mr. Madison's power was broken before he took 
his seat. A few Republican senators inaugurated 
an opposition to their chief after the fashion of 
modern days, and Mr. Madison was given to un- 
derstand that Mr. Gallatin would not be confirmed 
if nominated as secretary of state. Mr. Madison 


yielded to this dictation, and from that day for- 
ward was, as he deserved to be, perplexed and 
harassed by a petty oligarchy. Mr. John Quincy 
Adams, in a note on this affair, says that, "had 
Mr. Gallatin been appointed secretary of state, it 
is highly probable war with Great Britain would 
not have taken place." But it is improbable that 
any step in foreign intercourse was taken without 
Mr. Gallatin's knowledge and approbation. Such 
are the traditions of the triumvirate. 

The first term of Madison's administration was 
not eventful. There was discord in the cabinet. 
In the Senate the "invisibles," as the faction 
which supported Robert Smith, the secretary of 
state, was aptly termed, rejected Madison's nomi- 
nations and opposed Gallatin's financial policy as 
their interests or whims prompted. Randolph said 
of Madison at this time, that he was "President 
de jure only." Besides this domestic strife, the 
cabinet was engaged in futile efforts to resist the 
gradually tightening cordon of British aggression. 
Erskine's amateur negotiations, quickly disavowed 
by the British government, and the short and im- 
pertinent mission of Jackson, who succeeded him 
and was dismissed from the United States, well 
served Canning's policy of delay. Madison, whose 
prejudices were as strongly with Englishmen and 
English ways as those of Jefferson were with the 
men and manners of France, averse to war and 
withheld also by Gallatin's persistent objections, 
negotiated and procrastinated until there was little 


left to argue about. In December, 1809, Macon 
made an effort to pass a stringent navigation act 
to meet the British Orders in Council and the 
French decrees. The bill passed the House but 
was emasculated in the Senate, the Republican 
cabal voting with the Federalists to strike out the 
effective clauses. The act interdicting commercial 
intercourse with Great Britain and France expired 
in May, 1810, and was not revived. A new act 
was passed, which was a virtual surrender of every 
point in dispute. Resistance was abandoned, and 
our ships and seamen were left to the mercy of 
both belligerents. 

Mr. Gallatin's entire energies were bent upon 
strengthening the Treasury and opposing reckless 
expenditures. His most grievous disappointment, 
however, was in the refusal of Congress to renew 
the charter of the Bank of the United States. He 
used every possible effort to save this institution, 
which, in the condition of the country, was indis- 
pensable to a sound currency and the maintenance 
of specie payment. But with the dead weight of 
Mr. Madison's silence, if not indifference, the 
struggle was unequal and the bank fell. The 
course of Mr. Madison can hardly be excused. 
Political history records few examples of a more 
cruel desertion of a cabinet minister by his chief. 
Mr. Gallatin felt it deeply and tendered his resig- 
nation. The administration was going to pieces 
by sheer incapacity. The leaders took alarm and 
the cabinet was reconstructed, Monroe being called 


to the Department of State. But the enemies of 
Mr. Gallatin still clung to his skirts, determined 
to drag him to the dust. Duane attacked him in 
the most dangerous manner. Probably no man in 
America has ever been abused, vilified, maligned 
with such deliberate persistency as was Gallatin 
in the "Aurora" from the beginning of 1811 until 
the cabinet crisis, when Mr. Madison was com- 
pelled to choose between Smith and himself. Day 
after day leaders were devoted to personal assault 
upon him and to indirect insinuations of his supe- 
riority to Madison, by which the artful editor 
sought to arouse the jealousy of the President. 
The "Atlas at the side of the President," the 
"Great Treasury Law Giver," the "First Lord 
of the Treasury," the "Dagon of the Philistines," 
were favorite epithets. He was charged by turns 
with betraying cabinet secrets to Randolph, with 
amateur negotiation with Erskine, and with sub- 
serviency to British gold in the support of the 
Bank of the United States. Here is an instance 
of Duane's style: "We can say with perfect con- 
viction that, if Mr. Madison suffer this man to 
lord it over him, Mr. Gallatin will drag him down, 
for no honest man in the country can support 
an administration of which he is a member with 
consistency or a pure conscience." It was charged 
upon Gallatin that his friends considered him as 
the real, while Madison was the nominal, presi- 
dent. More than this, he was accused of embez- 
zlement and enormous speculations in the public 


lands. Gallatin's party pride must have been 
strong indeed to have induced him to stay an hour 
in an administration which granted its favors to 
the author of such assaults upon one of its chosen 

Jefferson wrote to Mr. Wirt in May following, 
that, because of the bank, endeavors were made 
to drive from the administration (of Mr. Madison) 
the ablest man, except the President, who ever 
was in it, and to beat down the President himself 
because he was unwilling to part with such a coun- 

Monroe was appointed secretary of state in 
Smith's place in April, 1811. Other changes fol- 
lowed in the cabinet, but brought little relief to 
Mr. Gallatin. Financial affairs now occupied his 
entire attention ; on the one hand was a diminish- 
ing treasury; on the other an expenditure reckless 
in itself and beyond the demands of the adminis- 
tration. Without the sympathy of either the Sen- 
ate or House, Mr. Gallatin's position became daily 
more irksome, until at last he abandoned all attempt 
to control the drift of party policy, took the war 
party at their word, and sent in to the House a 
war budget. 

Unfortunately for the country, the Republican 
party knew neither how to prepare for war, nor 
how to keep the peace. Mr. Madison had none 
of the qualifications of a war President; neither 
executive ability, decision of character, nor yet 
that more important faculty, knowledge of men. 


In his attachment to Mr. Madison and in loyalty 
to what remained of the once proud triumvirate 
of talent and power, Mr. Gallatin supplied the 
deficiencies of his fellows as best he could, until 
an offer of mediation between the United States 
and Great Britain on the part of the emperor of 
Russia presented an opportunity for honorable 
withdrawal and service in another and perhaps 
more congenial field. In March, 1813, the Rus- 
sian minister, in a note to the secretary of state, 
tendered this offer. Mr. Gallatin had completed 
his financial arrangements for the year, and re- 
quested Mr. Madison to send him abroad on this 
mission. Unwilling to take the risk of new ap- 
pointments, the President acceded to this proposal, 
and gave him leave of absence from his post in 
the Treasury. Mr. Gallatin did not anticipate a 
long absence, and felt, as he said to his old friend 
Badollet, that he could nowhere be more usefully 
employed than in this negotiation. Certainly he 
could have no regret in leaving a cabinet which 
had so little regard to his own feelings and so 
little political decency as to confer the appoint- 
ment of adjutant-general in the United States 
army on his malignant assailant, William Duane 
of the "Aurora." 

Mr. Gallatin's mission, followed by the resigna- 
tion of his post in the cabinet, finally dissolved 
the political triumvirate, but not the personal 
friendship of the men. Numerous attempts were 
made to alienate both Jefferson and Madison from 


Gallatin while he held the portfolio of the Trea- 
sury, but one and all they signally and ignomini- 
ously failed. For Mr. Jefferson Mr. Gallatin 
had a regard near akin to reverence. A portrait 
of the venerable sage was always on his study 
table. When about setting out for France in 
1816 he tendered his services to his old chief and 
wrote to him that ' in every country and in all 
times he should never cease to feel gratitude, re- 
spect, and attachment for him.' Jefferson fully 
reciprocated this regard. From Monticello he 
wrote to Gallatin in 1823: "A visit from you to 
this place would indeed be a day of jubilee, but 
your age and distance forbid the hope. Be this 
as it will, I shall love you forever, and rejoice in 
your rejoicings and sympathize in your ails. God 
bless and have you ever in His holy keeping." 
Nor does Mr. Gallatin seem to have allowed any 
feeling of disappointment or dissatisfaction at Mr. 
Madison's weakness to disturb their kindly rela- 
tions. Their letters close with the reciprocal assur- 
ance of affection as well as of esteem. 



The Treaty of Ghent 

On May 9, 1813, the ship Neptune sailed from 
New Castle on the Delaware, having on board 
Albert Gallatin and James A. Bayard, ministers 
of the United States, with their four secretaries, 
of whom were Mr. Gallatin's son James, and 
George M. Dallas, son of his old Pennsylvania 
friend. They were accompanied to sea by a rev- 
enue cutter. Off Cape Henlopen they were over- 
hauled by the British frigate on the station, and 
their passport was countersigned by the English 
captain. On June 20 they reached the mouth of 
the river Gotha. Here the vessel lay at quaran- 
tine for forty-eight hours, during which the gen- 
tlemen paid a flying visit to Gottenburg. At 
dusk, on the 24th, the Neptune anchored in Copen- 
hagen inner roads, the scene of Nelson's attack in 
1801. Mr. Gallatin's brief memoranda of his 
voyage contain some crisp expressions. He found 
"despotism and no oppression. Poverty and no 
discontent. Civility and no servile obsequiousness 
amongst the people. Decency and sobriety." 

St. Petersburg was reached on July 21. Here 


Gallatin and Bayard found John Quincy Adams, 
then minister to Russia. He was one of the three 
commissioners appointed to treat for peace under 
the mediation which the Emperor Alexander had 
offered to the United States. Bayard and Adams 
were Federalists. To the moderate counsels of 
the former Jefferson owed his peaceable election. 
Gallatin and Adams had the advantage of thor- 
ough acquaintance with European politics. To 
Gallatin the study of history was a passion. He 
was familiar with the facts and traditions of diplo- 
macy. He knew the purpose, the tenor, and the 
result of every treaty made for centuries between 
the great powers; even their dates were at ready 
command in his wonderful memory. But, except- 
ing the few Frenchmen of distinction who in the 
exile which political revulsions imposed upon them 
had crossed the sea, he had no acquaintance with 
Europeans of high position, and none whatever 
with the diplomatic personnel of European courts. 
In this Adams was more fortunate. Educated 
abroad, while his father was minister to the court 
of St. James, he was from youth familiar with 
courts and their ways. To be the son of a presi- 
dent of the United States was no small matter at 
that day. The conjunction of these two men was 
rare. One of European birth and trained to 
American politics, the other of American birth 
and brought up in the atmosphere of European 
diplomacy. In their natural characteristics they 
were the opposite of one another. Adams was 


impetuous, overbearing, impatient of contradiction 
or opposition. Gallatin was calm, self -controlled, 
persistent; not jealous of his opinions, but ready 
to yield or abandon his own methods, if those of 
others promised better success; never blinded by 
passion or prejudice, but holding the end always 
in view. That end was peace; "peace at all times 
desirable," as Mr. Gallatin said a few days before 
his departure on his mission, but much more so, 
1 because of the incapacity shown in the conduct 
of the war, its inefficiency when compared with its 
expense, and the open hostility to it of a large 
number of the American people.' In the face of 
the disasters which had befallen the country Mr. 
Gallatin must have felt some qualms of conscience 
for his persistent opposition to the military and 
naval establishments. Their reorganization had 
place in his desire for peace. He said, May 5, 
1813: "Taught by experience, we will apply a 
part of our resources to such naval preparations 
and organization of the public force as will, within 
less than five years, place us in a commanding 
situation." With the particulars of the dispute 
between the two countries he was perfectly famil- 
iar. His report prepared in 1808 for Mr. Camp- 
bell, chairman of the Committee on Foreign Rela- 
tions, covered the whole ground of the American 

At the outset there seemed good ground for 
hope of an early agreement. European politics 
were at a critical point, and England naturally 


wished to husband her resources for a sudden 
emergency. The mediation of Russia Mr. Galla- 
tin considered a salve to the pride of England. 
This reasoning seemed sound enough, but it had 
not taken account of one important element: the 
jealousy of England of any outside interference 
between herself and her ancient dependencies. 
Mr. Gallatin did not hold English diplomacy in 
very high regard. Late in life he said that the 
history of the relations of England and France 
was a story of the triumphs of English arms and 
of French diplomacy; that England was always 
victorious, but France had as often negotiated her 
out of the fruits of success. True as this remark 
was in general, it cannot be said of the policy of 
England in American affairs. She pushed to the 
utmost her exclusion of France from the American 
continent when the States were colonies, and now 
that they were free and independent she would 
listen to no foreign intervention. Neither in peace 
nor war should any third government stand be- 
tween the two nations. This was and ever has 
been the true policy of Great Britain, and that it 
was not lost sight of in the heat of war is to the 
credit of her diplomacy. The offer of Russia to 
mediate was not welcome, and was set aside by 
Lord Castlereagh in a note of discouragement. 
There was no ground for the commissioners to 
stand upon ; moreover the emperor and Count Nes- 
selrode were absent from St. Petersburg, Count 
Romanzoff being left in charge of the foreign 


relations- The offer of mediation had originated 
with him. His policy was to curb the maritime 
power of England, and to secure in the negotiation 
a modification at least of the offensive practice of 
Great Britain in her assumed police of the sea. 

The war was in fact a legacy of the necessarily 
incomplete diplomacy of Washington's administra- 
tion and the Jay treaty. The determining cause 
was the enforcement of the right of search and the 
impressment of seamen from American vessels; 
a practice at variance with the rights and the law 
of nations. Monroe, Madison's secretary of state, 
urged the clear and distinct forbearance of this 
British practice as the one object to be obtained. 
An article in the treaty giving security in that re- 
spect was by Gallatin, as well as by Monroe, consid- 
ered a sine qua non condition ; while Mr. Bayard 
viewed an informal arrangement as equally efficient 
and more practicable than a solemn article. But 
there was no doubt of Bayard's determination to 
reach the result prescribed in their instructions. 

Mr. Gallatin's first act after setting foot on 
European shores was to write to Baring Brothers 
& Co. at London. This he did from Gottenburg, 
requesting a passport for the Neptune, which the 
commission proposed to retain at St. Petersburg 
until their return. At the same time he intimated 
that he wished the British government to be in- 
formed of the object of the mission. For the ex- 
penses of the commission the ambassadors had 
authority to draw on the Barings. The reply of 


Mr. Alexander Baring must at once have opened 
Mr. Gallatin's eyes to the futility of the errand 
of the commissioners. His words clearly state the 
British grounds of objection: "The mediation of 
Russia was offered, not sought, — it was fairly 
and frankly accepted , — I do not see how America 
could with any consistency refuse it; but to the 
eyes of a European politician it was clear that 
such an interference could produce no practical 
benefit. The only question now seriously at issue 
between us is one purely of a domestic nature in 
each country respectively; no foreign government 
can fairly judge of it." Pointing out the difficulty 
of establishing any distinction between the great 
masses of the seafaring population of Great Brit- 
ain and America, he finds that no other country 
can judge of the various positions of great delicacy 
and importance which spring from such a state of 
things; and says: "This is not the way for Great 
Britain and America really to settle their disputes ; 
intelligent persons of the two countries might de- 
vise mutual securities and concessions which per- 
haps neither country would offer in the presence 
of a third party. It is a sort of family quarrel 
where foreign interference can only do harm and 
irritate at any time, but more especially in the 
present state of Europe, when attempts would be 
made to make a tool of America." These, he said 
he had good reason to know, were the sentiments 
of the British cabinet on the question of place of 
negotiation and foreign mediation. He also in- 


formed Mr. Gallatin that the mediation of Russia 
had been refused, and that the British government 
would express its desire to treat separately and 
directly either at London or Gottenburg. He 
warned Mr. Gallatin that an opinion prevailed in 
the British public that the United States were en- 
gaged to France by a secret political connection, 
which belief, though perhaps not shared by the 
government, would lead it to consider the perse- 
vering of the American commission upon bringing 
the insulated question before the powers of the 
Continent as a touchstone of their sincerity. He 
hoped that the American commissioners would 
come at once in contact with the British ministers, 
and pointed out the hesitation that every minister 
would feel at giving instructions on a matter so 
delicate as that "involving the rights and duties of 
sovereign and subject." He then declared that 
there was in England a strong desire for peace 
and for ending a contest in which the "two coun- 
tries could only tease and weaken each other with- 
out any practical result," and at a time when Eng- 
land desired to carry her resources into the "more 
important field of European contest." He then 
gave Castlereagh's assurance, that the cartel-ship, 
the Neptune, should be respected, and expressed 
his own personal hope that he should ere long be 
gratified by seeing it bring, with the commission- 
ers, the hope of peace to the shores of England. 

Meanwhile Mr. Gallatin was engaged in ex- 
plaining the American case to Romanzoff by con- 


versation and by a written statement of the facts 
in the form of an unofficial note to the emperor. 
On August 10 word was received from the Em- 
peror Alexander authorizing the renewal of the 
offer of mediation ; and shortly after a letter from 
General Moreau, written to Mr. Gallatin from 
the imperial headquarters at Hrushova, assured 
him of his sympathy and assistance. His rela- 
tions with Gallatin were of long standing and of 
an intimate nature. Moreau, after a long resi- 
dence in America, to which he was warmly at- 
tached, had lately crossed the ocean and tendered 
his able sword to the coalition against Bonaparte. 
He informed Gallatin that one of the British min- 
isters had said to him in Germany that England 
would not treat of her maritime rights under any 
mediation. He feared that American vanity would 
hardly consent to treat directly with Great Britain, 
and foresaw that the political adversaries of Madi- 
son and Gallatin would blame the precipitation of 
the United States government in sending over the 
envoys before the adhesion of England to the pro- 
posed arbitration was secured. He assured Gal- 
latin of the interest of the Emperor Alexander in 
the Americans. 

On August 24 Count Romanzoff read to the 
envoys his dispatch to Count Lieven, the Russian 
minister at London, renewing the offer of media- 
tion. The commissioners considering their autho- 
rity as limited to treating under the mediation of 
Russia, Mr. Gallatin wrote to Monroe, inclosing 


a copy of Baring's letter, which he looked upon 
as an informal communication of the views of the 
British government, and asked for contingent pow- 
ers and instructions. These they could not expect 
to receive before February. Gallatin replied to 
Mr. Baring that no information of the refusal of 
Great Britain to the mediation had been received, 
but, even if it had, the commission was not autho- 
rized to negotiate in any other manner. They 
were, however, competent to treat of commerce 
without mediation. He declined to discuss the 
objection of Great Britain to the mediation of 
Russia, confining himself to an expression of igno- 
rance in America of any such feeling on the part 
of the British ministry, and of the confidence 
placed in the personal character of the emperor, 
which was considered a sufficient pledge of impar- 
tiality; while the selection of a sovereign at war 
with France was clear evidence that America nei- 
ther had nor wished to have any political connec- 
tion with that power. That he himself believed 
an arrangement to be practicable, he said to Mr. 
Baring, was evident from the fact that he had 
given up his political existence, and separated 
himself from his family. His opinion was, that 
while neither nation would be induced to aban- 
don its rights or pretensions in the matter of im- 
pressment, an arrangement might be made by way 
of experiment which would reserve to both their 
respective abstract rights, real or assumed. 

To Moreau he wrote stating his hope that, not- 


withstanding the first objections of Great Britain, 
the mediation of the emperor would be accepted, 
and he asked the general for his personal interpo- 
sition to this end. France and England he held 
to be equally at fault in the great European con- 
test; the one usurping and oppressing the land, 
the other dominating and tyrannizing the sea. 
They alone, said he, have gained, if not happi- 
ness, at least power. Russia, he was firmly per- 
suaded, was the only power at heart friendly to 
America. History has shown the sagacity of this 
judgment. This letter was never answered. Mo- 
reau was at death's door. 

Early in October Mr. Dallas was sent to Lon- 
don to open relations with the British ministry. 
His presence there would save two months at least 
in each correspondence which involved communi- 
cation between Washington, London, and St. 
Petersburg. Count Romanzoff gave the necessary 
letter of introduction to Count Lieven. Gallatin's 
instructions to the young secretary were explicit 
as to the caution he should exercise in a country 
where he could consider himself as only on suffer- 
ance. Hardly were these preliminaries concluded, 
and Dallas had not started on his journey, when 
Mr. Gallatin received word from America that 
the Senate had refused to confirm him in his posi- 
tion as commissioner. Mr. Gallatin had not re- 
signed his position of secretary of the treasury. 
The Senate refused to sanction the cumulative 


Stripped of his official character, he now felt 
himself at liberty to follow his own inclination. 
His first impulse was to go to London, where he 
was sure that Baring's friendship would open to 
him a means of usefulness in the matter on which 
he was engaged. The death of Moreau cut off 
the medium of approach to the emperor. This 
event was of no consequence, however, in the 
negotiation, as the emperor had been positively 
informed in July that England would not counte- 
nance even the appearance of foreign intervention 
in her dispute with America. But as yet no offi- 
cial information of his rejection had been received 
by Mr. Gallatin, nor did any reach him until 
March. Without it he could not well leave St. 
Petersburg. Meanwhile a diplomatic imbroglio, 
caused by the failure of the emperor to inform 
Romanzoff of Castlereagh's second refusal to ac- 
cept the offer of mediation, embarrassed the com- 
mission all winter. Nor yet were they aware that 
the British minister, driven to the wall by the 
second offer of the emperor, had made proposals 
to Monroe to treat directly with the United States 
government. The British note with this offer was 
written on November 4. Mr. Gallatin was ap- 
prised of it by Mr. Dallas in January, 1814. Mr. 
Baring urged him, if he should return to America 
during the winter, to take his way through Eng- 
land, as good effects might result from even a 
passing visit. Gallatin was then, as he expressed 
it, "chained for the winter to St. Petersburg," nor 


had he any way of reaching home, except by a 
cartel from a British port. 

No word coming from the emperor, the envoys 
concluded to withdraw from St. Petersburg. Be- 
fore leaving, Mr. Gallatin addressed a letter of 
thanks to Count Romanzoff, and requested him to 
communicate any information he might receive 
from the emperor. It was supposed that the offer 
of England to treat directly with America might 
be inclosed in Castlereagh's letter of refusal to 
accept Russian mediation. On January 25, 1814, 
Mr. Gallatin and Mr. Bayard left St. Petersburg 
and traveled by land to Amsterdam, which they 
reached after a tedious journey on March 4. The 
captain of the Neptune was ordered to bring his 
vessel to a port of Holland. At Amsterdam, where 
the envoys remained four weeks, they learned that 
Mr. Madison had at once accepted Castlereagh's 
offer and appointed a new commission, consisting 
of Messrs. Adams, Bayard, Henry Clay, and Jon- 
athan Russell. Mr. Gallatin was not included, 
as he was supposed to be on his way home to re- 
sume his post in the Treasury Department, the 
duties of which had been performed in his absence 
by Mr. Jones, the secretary of the navy. When 
correct information did reach Mr. Madison, on 
February 8, he immediately added Mr. Gallatin 
to the commission, and appointed Mr. G. W. 
Campbell to be secretary of the treasury. Thus 
it happened that Mr. Gallatin, whom Mr. Madi- 
son intended for the head of the commission, was 



the last named of those who conducted the negotia- 

On April 1, 1814, Mr. Gallatin concluded to 
pass through England on his return, and leaving 
orders for the Neptune On its arrival to proceed to 
Falmouth, he took the packet to Harwich, whither 
he requested Mr. Baring to send him the requisite 
passports to enable him to reach London with his 
suite without delay. 

In company with Mr. Bayard, Mr. Gallatin 
reached the English capital on April 9, 1814. 
There they heard some days later of the arrival of 
Messrs. Clay and Russell at Gottenburg. The 
situation of Great Britain had greatly changed. 
Intoxicated with the success of their arms and the 
abdication of Napoleon, the English people were 
quite ready to undertake the punishment of the 
United States, while the release of a large body 
of trained troops in France, Italy, Holland, and 
Portugal enabled the ministry immediately to 
throw a large force into Canada for the summer 
campaign. In the British cabinet a belief was 
said to be entertained that a continuance of the 
war would bring about a separation of the Ameri- 
can Union, and perhaps a return of New England 
to the mother country. In this emergency Galla- 
tin availed himself of the opportunity which pre- 
sented itself of addressing Lafayette in sending 
to that officer the patents for the Louisiana land 
granted to him by the American government, and 
urged the use of his influence to promote an ac- 


coinmodation between England and the United 

To Clay he wrote on April 22, proposing that 
the place of negotiation be changed from "that 
corner" Gottenburg, either to London, or some 
neutral place more accessible to the friendly inter- 
ference of those among the European powers upon 
which they must greatly rely. The Emperor Alex- 
ander was expected in London, and Castlereagh, 
who had recently returned from France where he 
had been in direct intercourse with him, was un- 
derstood to be of all the cabinet the best disposed 
to the United States. Erom Clay Gallatin heard 
in reply that the British charge d'affaires at Stock- 
holm had already asked the sanction of the Swed- 
ish government to the negotiation at Gottenburg. 
While Clay was unwilling to go to London he 
gave his consent to carry on the negotiations in 
Holland, if the arrangement could be made in 
such a manner as to avoid any ill feeling at the 
Swedish court by the change from Gottenburg. 
In May Gallatin and Bayard asked of Monroe, 
who was then secretary of state, authority for the 
commissioners to remove the negotiation to any 
place which their judgment should prefer. In 
May, also, the British government was officially 
notified by the American commissioners of their 
appointment. Lord Batlmrst answered with an 
assurance that commissioners would be forthwith 
appointed for Great Britain, and with a proposal 
of Ghent as the place for negotiation. This was 
at once acceded to. 


Meanwhile Mr. Crawford, the United States 
minister at Paris, was endeavoring, at the instance 
of Mr. Gallatin, to secure the friendly interposi- 
tion of the Emperor Alexander, not as a mediator, 
but as a common friend and in the interest of 
peace to the civilized world. Crawford was un- 
able to obtain an audience of the emperor, or even 
an interview with Count Nesselrode, but Lafayette 
took up the cause with his hearty zeal for every- 
thing that concerned the United States, and, in 
a long interview with the emperor at the house 
of Madame de Stael, submitted to him the view 
taken by the United States of the controversy, 
and obtained from him his promise to exert his 
personal influence with the British government on 
his arrival at London. Baron von Humboldt, the 
Prussian minister at Paris, who had been influ- 
enced by British misrepresentation, was also won 
over by Lafayette, and now tendered his services 
to Mr. Gallatin in any way in which he might be 
made useful. Lafayette's letter was brought by 
Humboldt in person. Gallatin and Humboldt had 
met in 1804, when the great traveler passed through 
Washington on his return from Peru and Mexico. 

The Treaty of Paris having been signed, Lord 
Castlereagh reached London early in June, and 
the emperor arrived a few days later. Mr. Galla- 
tin had an audience of the emperor on June 17, 
and on the 19th submitted an official statement of 
the American case and an appeal for the interposi- 
tion of his imperial majesty, "the liberator and 


pacifier of Europe." From the interview Mr. 
Gallatin learned that the emperor had made three 
attempts in the interest of peace, but that he had 
no hope that his representations had been of any 
service. England would not admit a third party 
to interfere, and he thought that, with respect to 
the conditions of peace, the difficulty would be 
with England and not with America. 

On June 13 Gallatin warned Monroe of the 
preparations England was making which would 
enable her to land fifteen to twenty thousand men 
on the Atlantic coast; that the capture of Wash- 
ington and New York would most gratify the 
British people, and that no help need be expected 
from the countries of Europe, all which were pro- 
foundly desirous of peace. 

The ministry informing Mr. Gallatin that the 
British commissioners would start for Ghent on 
July 1, he improved the interval by a visit to 
Paris. He left London, where he had passed 
nearly three months in the uncertain preliminaries 
of negotiation, and after a few days in the French 
capital reached Ghent on July 6. The British 
commissioners only appeared on August 6. They 
were Lord Gambier, Henry Goulburn, and Wil- 
liam Adams, all second-rate men, but for this 
reason suited to the part they had to play. After 
the overturn of Napoleon the British cabinet had 
no desire for peace, or at least not until they had 
secured by war some material advantages in the 
United States, which a treaty would confirm. 


The business of their representatives at Ghent was 
to make exorbitant demands of the Americans and 
delay negotiations pending the military operations 
in progress. 

In June Gallatin was satisfied of the general 
hostile spirit of Great Britain and of its wish to 
inflict serious injury on the United States. He 
notified Monroe of his opinion and warned him 
that the most favorable terms to be expected were 
the status ante bellum, and not certainly that, 
unless the American people were united and the 
country able to stand the shock of the campaign. 
Mr. Madison's administration had already hum- 
bled itself to an abandonment, or at least to an 
adjournment, of the principle to establish which 
they had resorted to arms. But in the first stages 
of the negotiation it was clear that the British 
cabinet had more serious and dangerous objects in 
view, and looked beyond aggression and temporary 
injury to permanent objects. At the first meeting 
on August 8, the British commissioners demanded, 
as a preliminary to any negotiation, that the United 
States should set apart to the Indian tribes the 
entire territory of the Northwest to be held by 
them forever in sovereignty under the guaranty of 
Great Britain. The absurdity of such a demand 
is sufficient evidence that it was never seriously 
entertained. There could have been no idea that 
the military power of Great Britain was able to 
enforce, or that the United States would abjectly 
submit to, such a mutilation of its territory and 


such a limitation of its expansion. Behind this 
cover Mr. Gallatin instinctively detected the real 
design of the cabinet to be the conquest of New 
Orleans and the mouths of the Mississippi. If to 
the territory thus acquired that of Florida should 
be added by cession from Spain, which could 
hardly refuse any compensation asked of her by 
Great Britain in return for the liberation of the 
Peninsula, a second British dominion would be 
set up on the American continent. These views 
Gallatin communicated to Monroe in a private 
dispatch of August 20, 1814, by the hands of Mr. 
Dallas. To the sine qua non of the British com- 
missioners no answer was made by the Americans. 
The negotiation was abruptly suspended, and only 
by informal conversation was Mr. Goulburn given 
to understand that reference had been had to 
America for instructions. Mr. Gallatin was of 
opinion that the negotiations were at an end, and 
in his despair of peace took consolation in the be- 
lief that the insolence of the demand would unite 
America from Maine to Georgia in defense of her 
Tights, of her territory, and indeed of her inde- 
pendence. The American commissioners made no 
secret of their belief that their mission was closed. 
Two of the secretaries started from Ghent on a 
continental tour, and notice was given to the land- 
lord of the house where the commissioners resided 
of their intention to quit it on October 1. On 
August 2, while matters were still at this dead- 
lock, Lord Castlereagh passed through Ghent on 


his way to the Congress at Vienna. Goulburn 
was ordered to change his tone and Lord Liver- 
pool was advised to moderate his demands ; to use 
Castlereagh's words, to "a letting down of the 
question." Lord Liverpool replied on September 
2, that he had already given Goulburn to under- 
stand that the commission had taken a very erro- 
neous view of British policy. In this communica- 
tion he betrays the hope, which the cabinet had 
entertained, of the outcome of American dissen- 
sions, by his expression of the opinion that if the 
negotiation had broken off on the notes already 
presented by the British commission, or the an- 
swer that the Americans were disposed to make, 
the war would have become popular in America. 

Lord Bathurst reopened the negotiations, but 
his modification was of tone rather than of matter. 
The surrender of the control of the Lakes to Great 
Britain, and of the Northwest Territory to the 
Indians, was still adhered to. The reply of the 
American commissioners was drawn chiefly by Mr. 
Gallatin. It absolutely rejected the proposals re- 
specting the boundary and the military flag on the 
Lakes, and refused even to refer them to the 
American government, but offered to pursue the 
negotiation on the other points. To Monroe Mr. 
Gallatin explained his reason for assenting to dis- 
cuss the Indian article, and therein his colleagues 
concurred with him, to be: that they had little 
hope of peace, but thought it desirable, if there 
were to be a breach, that it should be on other 


grounds than that of Indian pacification. The 
reply of the commission on this point, also drafted 
by Mr. Gallatin, was sent in on September 26. 
It merely guaranteed the Indians in all their old 
rights, privileges, and possessions. 

The destruction of the public buildings at Wash- 
ington by the British troops, known in London on 
October 1, caused a great sensation in England. 
As Gallatin said in a letter to Madame de Stael, 
it was "an act of vandalism to which no parallel 
could be found in the twenty years of European 
war from the frontiers of Russia to Paris, and 
from those of Denmark to Naples.'' "Was it (he 
asked), because, with the exception of a few cathe- 
drals, England had no public buildings comparable 
to them, or was it to console the London mob for 
their disappointment that Paris was neither pil- 
laged nor burned ? ' It can hardly be doubted 
that the flames which consumed the American 
capital lighted the way to peace. The atrocity of 
war was again brought vividly to the view of na- 
tions whose sole yearning was for peace. Ear from 
discouraging the American commissioners, it for- 
tified their resolution. They knew that it would 
unite the people of the States as one man. It in 
no way disturbed Gallatin's confidence either in 
the present or future of his adopted country. To 
those who asked his opinion of the securities of 
the United States, he said : " If I have not wholly 
misunderstood America, its resources and its po- 
litical morality, I am not wrong in the belief that 


its public funds are more secure than those of all 
European powers." 

In spite of the protests of Mr. Goulburn, who 
felt the ground on which he stood daily less stable, 
and in his letters to his chief was unsparing in his 
denunciations, Lord Liverpool accepted the pro- 
posed settlement of the Indian question. Nothing 
remained but to incorporate in a treaty form the 
points agreed upon. Lord Bathurst, who seems 
throughout the negotiation to have forgotten the old 
adage, that "fine words butter no parsnips," and 
with true British blindness never to have appre- 
ciated how thoroughly he was overmatched by Mr. 
Gallatin, submitted a preliminary notification that 
the British terms would be based on the principle 
of uti possidetis, which involved a rectification of 
the boundaries on the Canadian frontier. To this 
the Americans returned a peremptory refusal. 
They would not go one step farther except on the 
basis of the status quo ante helium. Lord Liver- 
pool considered this as conclusive. A vigorous 
prosecution of the war was resolved upon by the 
cabinet. Only for reasons of expediency was a 
show of negotiation still kept up. 

But when the cabinet took a survey of the gen- 
eral field they felt little complacency in the pro- 
spect of a struggle which sooner or later must in- 
terest the maritime powers. France, compelled 
by the peace of Vienna to withdraw from what 
even Lafayette considered as her natural frontier, 
was restive, and there was a large party in Russia 


who would gladly see the emperor take up the 
American cause. Moreover the chancellor of the 
exchequer saw before him an inevitable addition 
of ten millions of pounds sterling to his budget, 
the only avowable reason for which was the rectifi- 
cation of the Canadian frontier. In their distress 
the cabinet proposed to Wellington to go to the 
United States with the olive-branch and the sword, 
to negotiate or conquer a peace. The desire of 
the cabinet to bring the war to an honorable con- 
clusion was avowed. But Wellington, before ac- 
cepting this proposal, gave Lord Liverpool a very 
frank opinion of the mistake made in exacting 
territorial concessions, since the British held no 
territory of the United States in other than tem- 
porary possession, and had no right to make any 
such demand. ' Lord Liverpool was not tenacious. 
He was never, he wrote Lord Bathurst, much 
inclined to give way to the Americans, but the 
cabinet felt itself compelled to withdraw from its 
extreme ground. He accepted his defeat and ac- 
knowledged it. 

The Americans meanwhile arranged a draft of 
a treaty. The articles on impressment and other 
maritime rights, absolutely rejected by the British, 
were set aside. There only remained the question 
of the boundaries, the fisheries, and the navigation 
of the Mississippi. Here Mr. Gallatin had as 
much difficulty in maintaining harmony between 
Adams and Clay as in obtaining a peace from 
Liverpool and Bathurst. Adams was determined 


to save the fisheries ; Clay would not hear of open- 
ing the Mississippi to British vessels. A compro- 
mise was effected by which it was agreed that no 
allusion should be made to either subject. Mr. 
Gallatin terminated the dispute by adding a decla- 
ration that the commissioners were willing to sign 
a treaty applying the principle of the status quo 
ante helium to all the subjects of difference. This 
was in strict conformity with the instructions from 
the home government. On November 10 the Amer- 
ican draft was sent in. On the 25th the British 
replied with a counter-draft which made no allu- 
sion to the fisheries, but stipulated for the free 
navigation of the Mississippi. The Americans 
replied that they would give up the navigation of 
the river for a surrender of the fisheries. This 
proposal was at once refused by the British. The 
matter was settled by an offer of the Americans 
to negotiate under a distinct reservation of all 
American rights. All stipulations on either sub- 
ject were in the end omitted, the British govern- 
ment on December 22 withdrawing the article 
referring to these points. In the course of the 
negotiation Mr. Gallatin proposed that in case of 
a future war both nations should engage never to 
employ the savages as auxiliaries, but this article 
does not appear. To the credit of civilization, 
however, the last article contained a mutual en- 
gagement to put an end to the trade in slaves. 
An agreement entered into in perfect faith, but 
which the jealousy of the exercise of search in any 


form rendered nugatory for half a century. On 
Christmas day the treaty was signed. Mr. Henry 
Adams 1 justly says, "Far more than contempora- 
ries ever supposed, or than is now imagined, the 
Treaty of Ghent was the special work and the 
peculiar triumph of Mr. Gallatin." His own cor- 
respondence shows how admirably he was consti- 
tuted for the nice work of diplomatic negotiation. 
In the self -poise which he maintained in the most 
critical situations, the unerring sagacity with which 
he penetrated the purposes of his adversaries, the 
address with which he soothed the passions and 
guided the judgments of his colleagues, it is im- 
possible to find a single fault. If he had a fault, 
says his biographer, it was that of using the razor 
when he would have done better with the axe. 
But the axe is not a diplomatic weapon. The 
simulation of temper may serve an occasional pur- 
pose, but temper itself is a mistake; and to Mr. 
Gallatin's credit be it said, it was a mistake never 
committed by him in the course of this long and 
sometimes painful negotiation. Looking back 
upon its shifting scenes, it is clear that even the 
pertinacity of Adams and the irascibility of Clay 
served to advance the purpose of the mission. 
From the first to the last Mr. Gallatin had his 
own way, not because it was his own way, but 
because it was the best way and was so recognized 
by the majority of the commission at every turn 
of difference. Fortunately for the interests of 
1 Life of Albert Gallatin, p. 546. 


peace the battle of New Orleans had not yet been 
fought. There seems a justice in this final act 
of the war. The British attack upon the Chesa- 
peake l was committed before war had been de- 
clared. The battle of New Orleans was fought 
a fortnight after the Treaty of Ghent was signed. 
The burning of Washington was avenged by 
the most complete defeat which the British had 
ever encountered in their long career of military 

By his political life Mr. Gallatin acquired an 
American reputation; by his management of the 
finances of the United States he placed himself 
among the first political economists of the day; 
but his masterly conduct of the Treaty of Ghent 
showed him the equal of the best of European 
statesmen on their own peculiar ground of diplo- 
macy. No one of American birth has ever rivaled 
him in this field. Europeans recognized his pre- 
eminent genius. Sismondi praised him in a public 
discourse. Humboldt addressed him as his illus- 
trious friend. Madame de Stael expressed to him 
her admiration for his mind and character. Alex- 
ander Baring gave him more than admiration, his 

Upon the separation of the commissioners, Mr. 
Gallatin paid a flying visit to Geneva. His fame, 
or "glory," to use the words of Humboldt, pre- 

1 The frigate Chesapeake was captured by the British man-of- 
war Leopard in June, 1807. 


ceded him. Of his old intimates, Serre was under 
the sod in a West Indian island; Badollet was 
leading a quiet life at Vincennes in the Indiana 
Territory, where Gallatin had obtained for him 
an appointment in the land office; Dumont was 
in England. Of Gallatin's family few remained. 
But he received the honors due to him as a Ge- 
nevan who had shed a lustre on his native city. 
On his way to England, where he had made an 
appointment with his colleagues to attempt a com- 
mercial treaty with Great Britain, he stopped at 
Paris. Here he saw Napoleon, returned from 
Elba, his star in full blaze before its final extinc- 
tion. Here he heard in April (1815) of his ap- 
pointment by Madison as minister to France. His 
colleagues also had been honored by similar ad- 
vancements. Adams was transferred from Russia 
to England. Bayard was named minister to Rus- 
sia, but illness prevented his taking possession of 
his post. 

In April, Mr. Gallatin and Mr. Clay opened 
negotiations with Lord Castlereagh in London, 
where they were quickly joined by Adams. Lord 
Castlereagh bore no malice against Mr. Gallatin 
for the treaty. On the contrary, he wrote of it 
to Lord Liverpool as "a most auspicious and sea- 
sonable event," and wished him joy at "being re- 
leased from the millstone of an American war." 
With Lord Castlereagh Mr. Gallatin arranged in 
the course of the summer a convention regulating 
commercial intercourse between the United States 


and Great Britain, the only truly valuable part of 
which was that which abolished all discriminating 
duties. Mr. Gallatin considered this concession 
as an evidence of friendly disposition, and rightly 
judged that British antipathy and prejudice were 
modified, and that in the future friendly relations 
would be preserved and a rupture avoided. Be- 
yond this, there was little gained. The old irrita- 
ting questions of impressment and blockade and 
the exclusion of the United States from the West 
Indies trade remained. 

In July Mr. Gallatin parted from Mr. Baring 
and his London friends on his homeward journey. 
From New York, on September 4, he wrote Madi- 
son, thanking him for the appointment of minister 
to France as an "evidence of undiminished attach- 
ment and of public satisfaction for his services;" 
but he still held his acceptance in abeyance. To 
Jefferson, two days later, he had also the satisfac- 
tion to say with justice, that the character of the 
United States stood as u high as ever it did on the 
European continents, and higher than ever it did 
in Great Britain ; ' and that the United States 
was considered "as the nation designed to check 
the naval despotism of England." To Jefferson 
he naturally spoke of that France from which they 
had drawn some of their inspirations and their 

He thus describes the condition of the people : — 

" The revolution (the political change of 1789) has 
not, however, been altogether useless. There is a vis- 


ible improvement in the agriculture of the country and 
the situation of the peasantry. The new generation be- 
longing to that class, freed from the petty despotism 
of nobles and priests, and made more easy in their cir- 
cumstances by the abolition of tithes, and the equaliza- 
tion of taxes, have acquired an independent spirit, and 
are far superior to their fathers in intellect and informa- 
tion ; they are not republicans and are still too much 
dazzled by military glory ; but I think that no monarch 
or ex-nobles can hereafter oppress them long with im- 

And again, "Exhausted, degraded, and op- 
pressed as France now is, I do not despair of her 
ultimate success in establishing her independence 
and a free form of government.' 1 But it was not 
till half a century later that Gambetta, the Mira- 
beau of the Republic, led France to the full pos- 
session of her material forces, and reestablished in 
their original vigor the principles of 1789. That 
Gallatin was not blinded by democratic prejudices 
appears in the letter he wrote to Lafayette after 
Napoleon's abdication, in which he said: "My 
attachment to the form of government under which 
I was born and have ever lived never made me 
desirous that it should, by way of experiment, be 
applied to countries which might be better fitted 
for a limited monarchy." 

Minister to France 

Strange as it appears, there is no doubt that 
Mr. Gallatin was at this time heartily weary of 


political life, and seriously contemplated a perma- 
nent retirement to the banks of the Monongahela. 
He naturally enough declined a nomination to 
Congress, which was tendered him by the Phila- 
delphia district. His tastes were not for the vio- 
lence and turbulence of the popular house. 

Madison left him full time to decide whether he 
could arrange his private affairs so as to accept 
the mission to Paris. In November he positively 
declined. He considered the compensation as in- 
competent to the support of a minister in the style 
in which he was expected to live. His private in- 
come was at this time about twenty -five hundred 
dollars a year. Monroe pressed him earnestly not 
to quit the public service, but the year closed and 
Mr. Gallatin had not made up his mind. In the 
situation of France, which he considered "would 
under her present dynasty be for some years a 
vassal of her great rival," he did not consider the 
mission important, and his private fortune was 
limited to a narrow competence. "I do not wish," 
he wrote to Monroe, "to accumulate any property. 
I will not do my family the injury of impairing 
the little I have. My health is frail; they may 
soon lose me, and I will not leave them dependent 
on the bounty of others." But being again ear- 
nestly pressed, he on January 2, 1816, accepted 
the appointment. To Jefferson he wrote that he 
would not conceal 4 that he did not feel yet old 
enough nor had philosophy enough to go into re- 
tirement and abstract himself wholly from public 


In April, Madison notified Mr. Gallatin of Dal- 
las's probable retirement from the Treasury, and 
offered him the post if he cared to return to it. 
He was perfectly aware of his supreme fitness for 
the direction of the Treasury, and he declined 
with reluctance, because he was disturbed by the 
suspension of specie payments. Remembering 
Madison's weakness in 1812 on the subject of the 
renewal of the bank charter, which Gallatin con- 
sidered necessary in the situation of the finances, 
he could hardly have felt a desire to return to the 
cabinet in that or indeed in any other capacity. 
He was perfectly conscious that as leader of the 
House of Representatives, as secretary of the trea- 
sury, and as negotiator of the Ghent treaty, he 
had brought into the triumvirate all its practical 
statesmanship. His short career abroad had 
opened to him a new source of intellectual plea- 
sure. He had earned a right to some hours of 
ease. Diplomacy at that period, when communi- 
cation was uncertain and difficult, was perforce 
less restricted than in these latter days, when am- 
bassadors are little more than foreign clerks of the 
State Department without even the freedom of a 
chief of bureau. Gallatin felt entirely at home, 
and was happy in this peculiar sphere. There 
was no time in his life when he would not have 
gladly surrendered all political power for the en- 
joyment of intellectual ease, the pursuit of science, 
and the atmosphere of society of the higher order 
of culture in whatever field. And Paris was then, 


as it is still, the centre of intellectual and social 

Jefferson rejoiced in Gallatin's appointment to 
France, and rightly judged that he would be of 
great service there. Of Louis XVIII., however, 
Jefferson had a poor opinion. He thought him 
* a fool and a bigot, but, bating a little duplicity, 
honest and meaning well.' Jefferson could give 
Gallatin no letters. He had ' no acquaintances 
left in France; some were guillotined, some fled, 
some died, some are exiled, and he knew of no- 
body left but Lafayette. ' With Destutt de Tracy, 
an intimate friend of Lafayette, Jefferson was in 
correspondence. Indeed, he was engaged on the 
translation of Tracy's work on political economy, 
the best, in Jefferson's opinion, that had ever 
appeared. 1 

Gallatin reached Paris with his family on July 
9, 1816, and had an interview with the Due de 
Richelieu, the minister of Louis XVIII. , two days 
later. The conversation turned upon the sympa- 
thy for Bonaparte in the United States, which 
Richelieu could not understand; but Gallatin ex- 
plained that it was not extended to him as the 
despot of France, but as the most formidable en- 
emy of England. Richelieu warned him of the 
prejudices which might be aroused against the 
reigning family ' by ex -kings and other emigrants 
of the same description ' who had lately removed 

1 A translation of this work, Economie Politique, was published 
under Jefferson's supervision in 1818. 


to the United States. This was an allusion to 
Jerome, who had fled from the throne of West- 
phalia to the banks of the Delaware. The king 
gave Gallatin an audience on the 11th, when he 
presented his credentials. His reception both by 
his majesty and the princes was, he wrote to Mon- 
roe, "what is called gracious." Louis the Eigh- 
teenth was a Bourbon to the ends of his fingers. 
He had the bonhommie dashed with malice which 
characterized the race. None could better appre- 
ciate than he the vein of good-natured satire, the 
acquired tone of French society, which was to Mr. 
Gallatin a natural gift. Mr. Gallatin was not 
only kindly but familiarly received at court; and 
at the petit s soupers, which were the delight of 
the epicurean king, his majesty on more than one 
occasion shelled the crawfish for the youthful 
daughter of the republican ambassador. An an- 
ecdote is preserved of the king's courteous malice. 
To a compliment paid Mr. Gallatin on his French, 
the king added, "but I think my English is better 
than yours." 

Gallatin's first negotiations were to obtain in- 
demnity for the captures under the Berlin and 
Milan decrees ; but although the Due de Richelieu 
never for a moment hinted that the government 
of the Restoration was not responsible for the acts 
of Napoleon, yet he stated that the mass of inju- 
ries for which compensation was demanded by 
other governments was so great that indemnity 
must be limited to the most flagrant cases. They 


would pay for vessels burnt at sea, but would go 
no farther. In spite of Mr. Gallatin's persistency 
no advance was made in the negotiation. A minor 
matter gave him some annoyance. On July 4, 
1816, at a public dinner, the postmaster at Balti- 
more proposed a toast which, by its disrespect, 
gave umbrage to the king. Hyde de Neuville, 
the French minister to the United States, de- 
manded the dismissal of the offender. If our in- 
stitutions and habits as well as public opinion had 
not forbidden compliance with this request, the 
dictatorial tone of De Neuville was sufficient bar. 
Richelieu could not be made to understand the 
reason for the refusal, and while disclaiming any 
idea of using force, said that the government would 
show its dissatisfaction in its own way. This 
seemed to intimate an indefinite postponement of 
a consideration of American demands, and would 
have rendered Mr. Gallatin's further residence 
useless as well as unpleasant ; but French dignity 
got the better of what Gallatin termed, " the sickly 
sentimentality which existed on the subject of 
personal abuse of the king," and the insignificant 
incident was not allowed to interfere with friendly 

In 1817 Mr. Gallatin was engaged not only in 
advising Mr. Adams at London upon the points 
of a commercial treaty with Great Britain, but 
also, together with Mr. William Eustis, minister 
to the Netherlands, in a negotiation with that gov- 


The commission met at the Hague, Mr. Gold- 
berg and Mr. Van der Kemp representing Hol- 
land. The subjects were the treaty of 1782 be- 
tween the States-general of the Netherlands and 
the United States, the repeal of discriminating 
duties, and the participation of the United States 
in the trade with the Dutch East Indies. The 
basis of a treaty could not be agreed upon, and 
the whole matter was referred back to the two 
governments, the American commissioners recom- 
mending to the President a repeal of duties dis- 
criminating against vessels of the Netherlands, 
which would no doubt prevent future exaction of 
extra tonnage duties imposed on American vessels 
by that government. These negotiations occupied 
the late summer months. At the end of Septem- 
ber Mr. Gallatin was again at his post in Paris. 

In June, 1818, Mr. Richard Rush, who owed 
his introduction into public life to Mr. Gallatin, 
was appointed minister to England, Adams return- 
ing to the United States to take the portfolio of 
State in President Monroe's cabinet. Gallatin 
was joined to Rush, for the conduct of negotia- 
tions with Great Britain, rendered necessary by 
the approaching expiration of the commercial con- 
vention of July 3, 1815, which had been limited 
to four years. The general field of disputed points 
was again entered. It included the questions of 
impressment, the fisheries, the boundaries, and 
indemnity for slaves. The commissioners were 
supported by a temper of the American people 


different from that which prevailed when Jay and 
Gallatin respectively undertook the delicate work 
of negotiation in 1794 and 1814. A compromise 
was arrived at, which was signed on October 20, 
1818. The articles on maritime rights and im- 
pressment were set aside. A convention was made 
for ten years in regard to the fisheries, the north- 
west boundary, and other points, and the commer- 
cial convention of 1815 was renewed. The Eng- 
lish claim to the navigation of the Mississippi was 
finally disposed of, and the article concerning the 
West India trade was referred to the President. 
The arrangement of the fishery question disturbed 
Mr. Gallatin, who found himself compelled to 
sign an agreement which left the United States in 
a worse situation in that respect than before the 
war of 1812. But as the British courts would 
certainly uphold the construction by their govern- 
ment of the treaty of 1783, our vessels, when 
seized, would be condemned and a collision would 
immediately ensue. This, and the critical condi- 
tion of our Spanish relations, left no choice be- 
tween concession and war. A short time afterward 
Lord Castlereagh and the Duke of Wellington 
expressed friendly dispositions, and the mooted 
points of impressment and the West India trade 
were considered by them to be near an arrange- 
ment. The right of British armed vessels to ex- 
amine American crews was abandoned in the con- 
vention itself. 

In July, 1818, the capture of Fort St. Mark 


and the occupation of Pensacola in Florida by 
General Jackson made some stir in the quiet 
waters of our foreign diplomacy. Uncertain as to 
whether the act would be disavowed or justified by 
the American government, Mr. Gallatin explained 
to the European ministers that the forcible occu- 
pation of the Spanish province was an act of self- 
defence and protection against the Indians, but 
Richelieu replied that the United States "had 
adopted the game laws and pursued in foreign 
ground what was started in its own." Yet, to the 
astonishment of Mr. Gallatin, Richelieu was mod- 
erate and friendly in language, and urged a speedy 
amicable arrangement of differences with Spain, 
in whose affairs France took an interest, and who 
had asked her good offices. But Gallatin at once 
rejected any idea that the United States would 
join France in any mediation between Spain and 
her revolted colonies. It seems rather singular 
that, to the suggestion that a Spanish prince might 
be sent over to America as an independent mon- 
arch, Gallatin contented himself with expressing 
a doubt as to the efficacy of such a course to pre- 
serve their independence. Mr. ' Adams was in- 
formed that public recognition of the independence 
of the insurgent colony of Buenos Ayres would 
shock the feelings and prejudices of the French 
ministers, but that notwithstanding this displea- 
sure, France would not join Spain in a war on 
this account. England, however, would see such 
a war without regret, and privateers under Spanish 


commissions would instantly be fitted out, both 
in France and England. Under the existing con- 
vention with Great Britain three hundred Ameri- 
can vessels arrived at Liverpool in the first nine 
months of 1818 from the United States and only- 
thirty English, an advantage to the United States 
which war would at once destroy. Russia also 
was displeased with the recognition of the inde- 
pendence of the Spanish colonies. At the Con- 
gress of Aix la Chapelle various plans of media- 
tion were proposed, but England refusing to engage 
to break off all commercial relations with such of 
the insurgent colonies as should reject the proposals 
agreed to, the whole project was abandoned. An 
agreement between the five great powers for the 
suppression of the slave trade was also proposed 
at this Congress, but France declined to recognize 
the right to visit French vessels in time of peace, 
and Russia making a similar declaration, this plan 
also fell to the ground, and even an association 
against the exactions of the Barbary powers was 
prevented by jealousy of the naval preponderance 
of Great Britain. 

While Mr. Gallatin was still actively engaged 
in an endeavor to put our commercial relations 
with France on a satisfactory basis, and negotia- 
ting with M. Pasquier, the new French minister 
for foreign affairs, both with regard to indemnities 
for captures and the new Spanish relations involved 
in the cession of Florida to the United States, 
a serious trouble arose in which Mr. Gallatin 


and Mr. Adams were at direct difference. In the 
spring of 1821 a French vessel, the Apollon, was 
seized on the St. Mary's River, on the Spanish 
side, and condemned for violation of the United 
States navigation laws. Mr. Adams sustained the 
seizure and Mr. Gallatin did his best to defend it, 
on the ground that the place where the vessel was 
seized was embraced in the occupation of the 
United States. To Adams he wrote that the doc- 
trine assumed by the State Department with re- 
spect to the non-ratified treaty with Spain was not 
generally admitted in Europe, and that "he thought 
it equally dangerous and inconsistent with our 
general principles to assert that we had a right to 
seize a vessel for any cause short of piracy in a 
place where we did not previously claim jurisdic- 
tion." Mr. Gallatin succeeded in satisfying M. 
Pasquier that the seizure was not in violation of 
the law of nations or an insult to the French flag, 
and the captain having instituted a suit for redress 
against the seizing officers, the French minister 
allowed the matter to rest. Adams, however, was 
indignant at having his arguments set aside. He 
complained of it to Calhoun, and asked what Mr. 
Gallatin meant. Calhoun answered that perhaps 
it was "the pride of opinion." But when Adams 
got to his diary, which was the safety-valve of his 
ill-temper, he set a black mark against Mr. Galla- 
tin's name in these words: "Gallatin is a man of 
first-rate talents, conscious and vain of them, and 
mortified in his ambition, checked as it has been, 


after attaining the last step to the summit; timid 
in great perils, tortuous in his paths; born in 
Europe, disguising and yet betraying a supersti- 
tious prejudice of European superiority of intel- 
lect, and holding principles pliable to circum- 
stances, occasionally mistaking the left for the 
right handed wisdom." Against this judgment, 
Gallatin's estimate of Adams may be here set 
down. It was expressed to his intimate friend 
Badollet in 1824: "John Q. Adams is a virtuous 
man, whose temper, which is not the best, might 
be overlooked ; he has very great and miscella- 
neous knowledge, and he is with his pen a powerful 
debater; but he wants, to a deplorable degree, 
that most essential quality, a sound and correct 
judgment. Of this I have had in my official con- 
nection and intercourse with him complete and 
repeated proofs; and although he may be useful 
when controlled and checked by others, he ought 
never to be trusted with a place where, unre- 
strained, his errors might be fatal to the country." 
Crawford complained of the difficulty he encoun- 
tered in the cabinet of softening the asperities which 
invariably predominated in the official notes of the 
State Department while under Adams's direction, 
and said that, had they been allowed to remain as 
originally drafted, the government would have been 
"unembarrassed by diplomatic relations with more 
than one power." But it must be remembered that 
there was no love lost between Adams and Craw- 
ford — political rivals and not personal friends. 


The commercial negotiations, and the discussion 
of French pretensions under the eighth article of 
the Louisiana treaty, opened with M. Pasquier, 
were continued with the Vicomte de Montmorenci, 
who succeeded him as minister of foreign affairs. 
In September, 1821, Mr. Gallatin had communi- 
cated to Mr. Adams his intention of returning 
home in the spring; but there appearing a chance 
of success in the negotiation of a treaty, he wrote 
in February, 1822, to President Monroe that if 
no successor had been appointed, he was desirous 
to remain some time longer. He was loath to 
return without having succeeded in any one sub- 
ject intrusted to his care. Meanwhile Mr. Adams 
and M. de Neuville, the French minister, had 
been busy in the United States. A commercial 
convention was signed at Washington on June 24, 
1822. Concerning this agreement Mr. Gallatin 
wrote to Adams that the terms were much more 
favorable to France than he had been led to pre- 
sume would be acceded to, and more so than had 
been hoped for by the French government. He 
nevertheless expressed the wish that, as it had 
been signed, it should be ratified, in anticipation 
that the superior activity of our ship-owners and 
seamen would enable America to stand the compe- 

In January, 1823, Montmorenci resigned and 
was succeeded by M. de Chateaubriand. The 
change of ministers made no change in the French 
persistence in connecting the discussion of the 


American claims with that of the eighth article of 
the Louisiana treaty, an arrangement to which 
Mr. Gallatin would not consent. As a last resort 
he so informed M. de Chateaubriand, but receiv- 
ing an unsatisfactory answer he concluded that 
there was at that time no disposition in France to 
do us justice ; and as his protracted stay could be 
of no service to the United States, he determined 
to return home in the course of the spring. In 
April he received leave of absence from the Presi- 
dent. On May 13 he had a final conference with 
Chateaubriand, in which he could get no promise 
of any redress, but did obtain the explicit declara- 
tion that France would in no manner interfere in 
American questions. 

Mr. Gallatin took passage at Havre, and arrived 
in New York on June 24, 1823. His political 
friends, especially Crawford, were eager for his 
return. Crawford wished him to stand for vice- 
president in the coming presidential campaign. 
After a short visit to Washington he went to his 
home at New Geneva. The real value of perfect 
public service, or indeed of any service, is only 
appreciated when it ceases, and friction takes the 
place of smooth and noiseless order. Hardly was 
Mr. Gallatin settled at Friendship Hill when a 
letter from President Monroe (October 15) arrived, 
urging him to return to Paris, if only for the win- 
ter, or until the crisis brought on by the rupture 
between France and Spain should be over. Mr. 
Gallatin replied, that the deranged state of his 


private affairs rendered his return to Europe ex- 
tremely improbable. 

Goethe says in his "Elective Affinities" that we 
cannot escape the atmosphere we breathe. The 
natural atmosphere of Mr. Gallatin was public 
life. In November, 1825, Mr. Clay, Adams's 
secretary of state, offered, and, meeting a refusal, 
pressed upon Mr. Gallatin the post of representa- 
tive of the United States at the proposed Congress 
of American Republics at Panama. Mr. Clay 
was right in considering it the most important 
mission ever sent from the United States, and 
had Mr. Gallatin accepted it, relations with these 
interesting countries might have been improved 
to an immeasurable degree of happiness to them, 
and of benefit to both continents. But his family 
would not hear of his exposure in the fatal climate 
of the American Isthmus. Moreover, he pleaded 
his ignorance of the Spanish language as a suffi- 
cient excuse for declining the mission, — an ex- 
ample which has not been followed in later days. 

Minister to England 

In the spring of 1826 Mr. Rufus King, who 
had taken the place of Mr. Rush at London, that 
gentleman having been called to the Treasury by 
President Adams, fell ill, and requested the assis- 
tance of an extraordinary envoy. Mr. Gallatin 
accepted the mission. Before his nomination 
reached the Senate Mr. King's resignation was 
received and accepted. President Adams wishing 


to intrust Mr. Gallatin alone with the pending 
negotiations, and unwilling to make the two nomi- 
nations of minister and envoy, proposed to Mr. 
Gallatin to take the post of minister, with powers 
to negotiate, and liberty to return when the nego- 
tiations should be finished. Personal expenses at 
London were so great that the post of resident 
minister was ruinous. Mr. Adams promised Mr. 
Gallatin carte blanche as to his instructions. But 
instead of latitude and discretionary power he re- 
ceived at New York voluminous directions which 
he engaged faithfully to execute, while regretting 
that they had not been made known to him sooner. 
Nevertheless, in the three days which intervened 
before his sailing, he wrote to Mr. Clay a lucid 
statement of the points in issue, and mentioned 
the modifications he desired. The points were: 1. 
The northeastern boundary. Upon this he was 
only authorized to obtain a reference of the subject 
to a direct negotiation at Washington. He asked 
consent, in case it should be desirable, to open 
a negotiation on this point at London. Should 
Great Britain refuse to open a negotiation at either 
place, or to. agree to a joint statement, then he 
was not to be bound to propose an immediate ref- 
erence to a third power. 2. The boundary west 
of the Stony Mountains. The instructions limited 
British continuance on settlements south of the 
49th parallel to five years. Mr. Gallatin thought 
this insufficient, and proposed fifteen years. 3. 
The St. Lawrence navigation, and the intercourse 


with Canada, as to which he suggested alternate 
plans. 4. Colonial trade, on which he asked pre- 
cise instructions as to what was desired. To the 
President he complained of his instructions as ; of 
the most peremptory nature, leaving no discretion 
on unimportant points, and making of him a mere 
machine,' and he requested that it be officially 
announced to him 4 that the instructions were in- 
tended to guide but not absolutely to bind him.' 
He was not afraid of incurring responsibility 
where discretion was allowed, but he would not 
do it in the face of strict and positive injunctions. 
Mr. Gallatin sailed from New York with his wife 
and daughter July 1, 1826. Mr. William Beach 
Lawrence, then a youth, accompanied him as his 
secretary. They reached London on August 7. 

Canning was then at the head of the foreign 
office, and the temper of the ministry was not that 
of Castlereagh and Wellington. Mr. Gallatin did 
not like French diplomacy, nor did he admire that 
of England. He wrote to his son : ' Some of the 
French statesmen occasionally say what is not 
true; here (in London) they conceal the truth.' 
But while in diplomacy he found strength and the 
opinion of that strength to be the only weapons, 
he felt satisfaction that the country could support 
its rights and pretensions by assuming a different 
attitude. In the course of the negotiations Mr. 
Gallatin learned that one of the king's ministers 
had complained of the tone of United States diplo- 
macy towards England, and had added, that it 


was time to show that it was felt and resented. 
No such fault could attach to the correspondence 
of Mr. Rush and Mr. King, or to that of Mr. 
Clay, which Mr. Addington had found quite ac- 
ceptable; but it was ascribed to Mr. Adams's 
instructions to Mr. Rush, printed by order of the 
Senate. Mr. Gallatin later discovered that the 
offensive remarks were in Baylies 's report on 
the territory west of the Stony Mountains. Mr. 
Gallatin explained the independence of the House 
committees in the United States, but as a diplo- 
matist he felt the need of a concert between the 
executive and the committees of Congress in all 
that concerns foreign relations. Government, 
after all, is a complex science. 

The simple directness with which Mr. Gallatin 
dealt with Lord Liverpool could not serve with 
a man of Canning's disposition. Mr. Gallatin 
did not fail to bring to bear the pressure of a 
possible change in the relations of the United 
States and Great Britain, which might arise from 
the war which seemed imminent between that 
power and Spain. The new questions of Cuba, 
and the old habit of impressment, might at once 
bring the United States into collision with Eng- 
land. But the war did not take place, and the 
close of the year found the negotiations not far 
advanced. Only the convention of 1815 would no 
doubt be renewed. He asked for further instruc- 
tions on that subject, the joint occupancy of west- 
ern territory, and impressments, all of which he 


hoped to arrange in the spring and summer, and 
return home. Mr. Lawrence he found to be a 
secretary more capable in the current business of 
the legation than any of his predecessors. Mr. 
Gallatin could safely leave him there as charge 

In December, Chateaubriand used in the House 
of Peers the words which Mr. Gallatin had said 
to him, ' that England could not take Cuba with- 
out making war on the United States, and that 
she knew it.' Mr. Gallatin so informed Adams, 
and added, that France would no doubt agree, as 
Chateaubriand would have agreed, to a tripartite 
instrument if England were of the same opinion. 

In March, 1827, Adams warned Gallatin that 
the sudden and unexpected determination of Great 
Britain to break oif all negotiation concerning the 
colonial trade, and the contemporaneous interdic- 
tion of the vessels of the United States from all 
British ports in the West Indies, had put a new 
face on matters. A renewal of the convention of 
1818 would probably be agreed to by the Senate, 
but no concession in the form of a treaty would 
be acceptable. His words were emphatic. "One 
inch of ground yielded on the northwest coast, — 
one step backward from the claim to the naviga- 
tion of the St. Lawrence, — one hair's breadth of 
compromise upon the article of impressment would 
be certain to meet the reprobation of the Senate." 
In this temper of parties, Adams added, "All we 
can hope to accomplish will be to adjourn contro- 


versies which we cannot adjust, and say to Britain 
as the Abbe Bernis said to Cardinal Fleuri: 
' Monseigneur, j'attendrai.' " 

But changes now occurred in the British minis- 
try : Lord Liverpool died in February, 1827 — 
Mr. Canning in the following August. Lord 
Goderich became prime minister. The new ad- 
ministration returned from Canning's eccentric 
course to the old and quiet path. The commercial 
convention of 1815 was renewed indefinitely, each 
party being at liberty to abrogate it at twelve 
months' notice. The joint occupancy of the Ore- 
gon Territory, agreed to in 1818, was continued 
in a similar manner. On September 29 a conven- 
tion was signed, referring the northeast boundary 
to the arbitration of a friendly sovereign. Mr. 
Gallatin believed that, had Canning lived, he 
would have opened a negotiation on the subject 
of impressment. Huskisson considered that ' the 
right, even if well founded, was one the exercise 
of which was intolerable, but that this was not 
the time to take up the subject. ' The new Brit- 
ish administration did not dare to encounter the 
clamor of the navy, the opposition of the Tories, 
and the pride of the nation on this question. 

Having accomplished all that was practicable, 
completed all the current business, and leaving 
the British government in a better temper than he 
found it, Mr. Gallatin returned to the United 
States, reaching New York on November 29, 
1827. Nothing remained in foreign relations in 


respect to which Mr. Gallatin felt that he could 
be of much use except the northeast boundary. 
In a letter of congratulation to Mr. Gallatin on 
his arrival, President Adams made ample amends 
for all his harsh judgments, expressed or withheld. 
The three conventions were entirely satisfactory to 
him. Of the negotiation he said, in words as 
graceful as warm, "I shall feel most sensibly the 
loss of your presence at London, and can form no 
more earnest wish than that your successor may 
acquire the same influence of reason and good 
temper which you did exercise, and that it may 
be applied with as salutary effect to the future 
discussions between the two governments." Dur 
ing his visit to London Mr. Gallatin was over- 
whelmed with civilities. Canning was courteous 
to a degree, and rarely a day passed that the 
American ambassador had not to choose between 
half a dozen invitations to dinner. At the house 
of the Russian minister, the Count de Lieven, he 
was always welcome, and the Countess de Lieven, 
the autocrat of foreign society in London, without 
whose pass no stranger could cross the sacred 
threshold of Almack's, was his fast friend. To 
each circle he carried that which each most prized. 
Whether the conversation turned upon government 
or science, the dry figures of finance, or the more 
genial topic of diplomatic intrigue, Mr. Gallatin 
was its easy master, and his words never fell on 
inattentive ears. 


With this mission to London Mr. Gallatin's 
diplomatic service closed. He would have ac- 
cepted the French mission in 1834, and so in- 
formed Van Buren, but General Jackson, who 
was President, had his own plans, and ' ran his 
machine ' without consulting other than his own 
prejudices or whims. But although Mr. Gallatin 
was no longer in the field of diplomacy, his coun- 
sels were eagerly sought. The northeastern boun- 
dary was a troublesome question, indeed in the 
new phases of American politics an imminent 
danger. The extension of the commercial relations 
of Great Britain and the United States rendered 
it imperative that no point of dispute should re- 
main which could be determined. For two years 
after his return from England, Mr. Gallatin was 
employed in the preparation of an argument to be 
laid before the king of the Netherlands, who had 
been selected as the arbiter between the United 
States and Great Britain on the boundary. The 
king undertook to press a conventional line, which 
the United States, not being bound to accept, re- 
fused. In 1839 Mr. Gallatin prepared, and put 
before the world, a statement of the facts in the 
case. This, revised, together with the speech of 
Mr. Webster, a copy of the Jay treaty, and eight 
maps, he published at his own expense in 1840. 

At this time conflicts on the Maine frontier 
brought the subject up in a manner not to be ig- 
nored. Popular feeling was at high pitch. In 
this condition of affairs Alexander Baring, who 


had been raised to the peerage as Lord Ashburton, 
was sent to America on a mission of friendship 
and peace. As a young man he had listened to 
the debate on Jay's treaty in 1795. He was now 
to be received by Webster in Washington in the 
same spirit in which Grenville received Jay in 
London, when it was mutually understood that 
they should discuss the matter as friends and not 
as diplomatists, and leave their articles as records 
of agreement, not as compromises of discord. 
Gallatin eagerly awaited the arrival of his old 
friend, and was grievously disappointed when con- 
trary winds blew the frigate which carried him to 
Annapolis. Letters were immediately exchanged; 
Lord Ashburton engaging before he left the coun- 
try to find Gallatin out, and, as he said, to '"''draw 
a little wisdo?n from the best well." After the 
treaty was signed, Lord Ashburton went from 
Washington to New York, and the old friends 
met once more : Mr. Gallatin was in his 82d year, 
but in the full possession of his faculties; Lord 
Ashburton in his 68th year : a memorable meeting 
of two great men, whose lives had much in com- 
mon; the one the foremost banker of England, 
the other the matchless financier of America; and 
to this sufficient honor was added for each the 
singular merit of having negotiated for his country 
the most important treaty in its relation to the 
other since the separation of 1783, — Mr. Galla- 
tin, the Treaty of Ghent, which gave peace to 
America; Lord Ashburton, that treaty which is 


known by his name and which secured peace to 
Great Britain. 

In 1846 Mr. Gallatin rendered his last diplo- 
matic service by the publication of a pamphlet on 
the Oregon question, which was then as threaten- 
ing as that of the northeastern boundary had been. 
This admirable exposition, which put before the 
people as well as the negotiators the precise merits 
of the controversy, powerfully contributed to the 
ultimate peaceful settlement. 

Still once more Mr. Gallatin threw his authori- 
tative words into the scale of justice. His last 
appearance in public had been when he presided 
on April 24, 1844, at a meeting in New York city 
to protest against the annexation of Texas. He 
then held that the resolution of the House declar- 
ing the treaty of annexation between the United 
States of America and the Republic of Texas to 
be the fundamental law of union between them, 
without and against the consent of the Senate, 
was a direct and undisguised usurpation of power 
and a violation of the Constitution. In the storm 
of opposition he lifted his feeble voice in condem- 
nation of the violation of treaties, and the disre- 
gard of the sacred obligations of mankind. "I 
am highly gratified," were his final words, "I am 
highly gratified that the last public act of a long 
life should have been that of bearing testimony 
against this outrageous attempt. It is indeed a 
consolation that my almost extinguished voice has 
been on this occasion raised in defense of liberty, 


of justice, and of our country." Of the war with 
Mexico, he was wont to say, "that it was the only 
blot upon the escutcheon of the United States." 
Aged as he was, he would not rest until he had 
made his last appeal for peace with Mexico. He 
also prepared supplementary essays on war ex- 
penses: the first of these was published in 1847, 
the second in 1848. For months all his facul- 
ties, all his feelings were absorbed in this one 
subject. These pamphlets were widely circulated 
by the friends of peace. The venerable sage 
had the comfort of knowing that his words were 
not in vain. Peace with Mexico was signed on 
February 2, 1848. 

Mr. Gallatin was no believer in the doctrine of 
' manifest destiny, ' — the policy of bringing all 
North America into the occupation of a race speak- 
ing the same language, and under a single govern- 
ment. On February 16, 1848, before news of the 
signature of the treaty at Guadalupe Hidalgo, by 
Mr. Trist, the American negotiator, was known 
in New York, Mr. Gallatin condemned this idea 
in a remarkable passage, in a letter to Garrett 
Davis : — 

" What shall be said of the notion of an empire ex- 
tending from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from the 
North Pole to the Equator? Of the destiny of the 
Anglo-Saxon race, of its universal monarchy over the 
whole of North America ? Now, I will ask, which is 
the portion of the globe that has attained the highest 


degree of civilization and even of power — Asia, with 
its vast empires of Turkey, India, and China, or Europe 
divided into near twenty independent sovereignties? 
Other powerful causes have undoubtedly largely contrib- 
uted to that result ; but this, tbe great division into ten 
or twelve distinct languages, must not be neglected. But 
all these allegations of superiority of race and destiny 
neither require nor deserve any answer. They are but 
pretences under which to disguise ambition, cupidity, or 
silly vanity." 

The justice of these reflections was assuredly 
borne out by the experience of history, but mani 
fest destiny takes no account of past lessons. 

Before these lines of Mr. Gallatin were penned, 
on January 19, 1848, gold was discovered in Cali- 
fornia. The announcement startled the world and 
opened a new era, not only to Europe, but to 
mankind. Extending the metallic basis, which no 
man better than Mr. Gallatin recognized and held 
to be the true solvent of money transactions, it 
postponed for a half century the inevitable conflict 
between capital and labor, the first outbreaks of 
which in Europe had been with difficulty sup- 
pressed, when the news of good tidings gave pro- 
mise of unexpected relief. Credit revived, new 
enterprises of colossal magnitude were undertaken, 
and the demand for labor quickly exceeded the 
supply. Emigration to America rose to incredible 
proportions. Had Mr. Gallatin lived, he would 
have found new elements to be weighed in his nice 
balance of probabilities. He would no longer, as 


in 1839, have been compelled to say that "specie 
is a foreign product," but would have given to us 
inestimable advice as to the proper use to be made 
of the vast sums taken out from our own soil. He 
would have been also brought to face the ethnologic 
problem of a continent inhabited by a single race, 
not Anglo-Saxon, nor Teutonic, nor yet Latin, 
but a composite race in which all these will be 
merged and blended ; a new American race which, 
springing from a broader surface, shall rise to 
higher summits of intellectual power and, with a 
greater variety of natural qualities, achieve excel- 
lence in more numerous ways. This vision was 
denied to Mr. Gallatin. He died at the threshold 
of the new era — of the golden age. A half cen- 
tury has not passed since his death, and the United 
States has taken from her soil a value of over 
three thousand millions of dollars, in gold and 
silver (gold two thousand millions, silver one thou- 
sand millions), more than two thirds of the total 
amount estimated by Mr. Gallatin as the store of 
Europe in 1839 ; and has also added to her popu- 
lation, by immigration alone, ten millions of peo- 
ple, of whom but a small proportion are of the 
Anglo-Saxon race. 



During the twelve years that Mr. Gallatin was 
in the Treasury he was continually looking for 
some man who could take his place in that office, 
and aid in the direction of national politics; to 
use his own words, "who could replace Mr. Jeffer- 
son, Mr. Madison, and himself." Breckenridge 
of Kentucky only appeared and died. The eccen- 
tricities of John Randolph unfitted him for leader- 
ship. William H. Crawford of Georgia, Monroe's 
secretary of the treasury, alone filled Gallatin's 
expectations. To a powerful mind Crawford 
"united a most correct judgment and an inflexible 
integrity. Unfortunately he was neither indulgent 
nor civil, and, consequently, was unpopular." An- 
drew Jackson, Gallatin said, "was an honest man, 
and the idol of the worshipers of military glory, 
but from incapacity, military habits, and habitual 
disregard of laws and constitutional provisions, 
entirely unfit for the office of president." John 
C. Calhoun he looked upon as "a smart fellow, 
one of the first amongst second-rate men, but of 
lax political principles and an inordinate ambition, 
not over-delicate in the means of satisfying itself." 


Clay he considered to be a man of splendid talents 
and a generous mind ; John Quincy Adams to be 
4 wanting to a deplorable degree in that most es^ 
sential quality, a sound and correct judgment.' 

The contest lay between Adams and Crawford. 
Crawford was the choice of Jefferson and Madison 
as well as of Gallatin. The principles of the Re- 
publican party had so changed that Nathaniel 
Macon could say in 1824, in reply to a request 
from Mr. Gallatin to take part in a caucus for 
the purpose of forwarding Mr. Crawford's nomi- 
nation, that there were u not five members of Con- 
gress who entertained the opinions which those 
did who brought Mr. Jefferson into power.' 1 But 
Macon was of the Brutus stamp of politicians ; of 
that stern cast of mind which does not ' alter when 
it alteration finds or bend with the remover to 
remove,' and held yielding to the compulsion of 
circumstances to be an abandonment of principle. 

Jefferson still held the consolidation of power 
to be the chief danger of the country, and the bar- 
rier of state rights, great and small, to be its only 
protection even against the Supreme Court. Gal- 
latin took broader ground, and found encourage- 
ment in the excellent working of universal suffrage 
in the choice of representatives to legislative bod- 
ies. But he was opposed to the extension of the 
principle to municipal officers having the applica- 
tion of the proceeds of taxes, forgetting that uni- 
versal suffrage is the lever by which capital is 
moved to educate labor and relieve it from the 


burdens of injury, disease, and physical incapacity 
at the expense of the whole. Without stopping 
to argue these debatable questions, Mr. Gallatin, 
with practical statesmanship, determined to main- 
tain in power the only agency by which he could 
at all shape the political future, and he threw 
himself into the canvass with zeal. 

Crawford had unfortunately been stricken with 
paralysis, and the choice of a vice-president be- 
came a matter of grave concern. Mr. Gallatin 
was selected to take this place on the ticket. To 
this tender he replied that he did not want the 
office, but would dislike to be proposed and not 
elected, and he honestly felt that as a foreigner 
and a residuary legatee of Federal hatred his name 
could not be of much service to the cause. Still, 
he followed the only course by which any party 
can be held together, and surrendered his preju- 
dices and fears to the wishes of his friends. The 
Republican caucus met on February 14, 1824, in 
the chamber of the House of Representatives. Of 
the 216 members of the party only 66 attended. 
Martin Van Buren, then senator from New York, 
managed this, the last congressional caucus for 
the selection of candidates. 

The solemnity given to the congressional nomi- 
nations, and the publicity of the answers of candi- 
dates, Mr. Gallatin held to be political blunders. 
In fact the plan was adroitly denounced as an 
attempt to dictate to the people. 

Crawford was nominated for president by 64 


votes, Gallatin for vice-president by 57. This 
nomination Mr. Gallatin accepted in a note to 
Mr. Ruggles, United States senator, on May 10, 
1824. But there were elements of which party 
leaders of the old school had not taken sufficient 
account. Macon was right when he said that 
"every generation, like a single person, has opin- 
ions of its own, as much so in politics as anything 
else," and that c the opinions of Jefferson and 
those who were with him were forgotten.' And 
Jefferson himself, in his complacent reflection that 
even the name of Federalist was "extinguished by 
the battle of New Orleans," did not see that the 
Republican party of the old school had been snuffed 
out by the same event. The new democracy, whose 
claims to rule were based, not on the policy of 
peace or restricted powers, but on the seductive 
glitter of military glory, was in the ascendant, and 
General Jackson was the favorite of the hour. 
New combinations became necessary, and Mr. Gal- 
latin was requested to withdraw from the ticket, 
and make room for Mr. Clay, whose great western 
influence it was hoped would save it from defeat. 
This he gladly did in a declaration of October 2, 
addressed to Martin Van Buren, dated at his 
Fayette home, and published in the "National 
Intelligencer." The result of the election was sin- 
gular. Calhoun was elected vice-president by the 
people. The presidential contest was decided in 
the House, Adams being chosen over Jackson and 
Crawford, by the influence of Clay. Mr. Gallatin 


quickly discerned in the failure of the people to 
elect a president the collapse of the Republican 
party. He considered it as "fairly defunct." 

Jackson had already announced the startling 
doctrine that no regard was to be had to party in 
the selection of the great officers of government, 
which Mr. Gallatin considered as tantamount to 
a declaration that principles and opinions were of 
no importance in its administration. To lose sight 
of this principle was to substitute men for mea- 
sures. Jackson's idea of party, however, was 
personal fealty. He engrafted the pouvoir per- 
sonnel on the Democratic party as thoroughly as 
Napoleon could have done in his place. More- 
over, Gallatin considered Jackson's assumption of 
power in his collisions with the judiciary at New 
Orleans and Pensacola, and his orders to take St. 
Augustine without the authority of Congress, as 
dangerous assaults upon the Constitution of the 
country and the liberties of the people, and he 
dreaded the substitution of the worship of a mili- 
tary chieftain for the maintenance of that liberty, 
the last hope of man. Ten years later he uttered 
the same opinion in a conversation with Miss 
Martineau, and he expressed a preference for an 
annual president, a cipher, so that all would be 
done by the ministry. But in the impossibility of 
this plan, he would have preferred a four years' 
term without renewal or an extension of six years; 
an idea adopted by Davis in his plan of disinte- 
gration by secession. The presidency, Mr. Gal- 


latin thought, was "too much power for one man; 
therefore it fills all men's thoughts to the detri- 
ment of better things." 

When Mr. Gallatin visited Washington in 1829, 
he found a state of society, political and social, 
widely at variance with his own experience. The 
ways of Federalist and Republican cabinets were 
traditions of an irrevocable past. Jackson was 
political dictator, and took counsel only from his 
prejudices. The old simplicity had given way to 
elegance and luxury of adornment. The east room 
of the presidential mansion was covered with Brus- 
sels carpeting. There were silk curtains at the 
windows, French mirrors of unusual size, and three 
splendid English crystal chandeliers. In the din- 
ing-room were a hundred candles and lamps, and 
silver plate of every description, and presiding 
over this magnificence the strange successors of 
Washington and his stately dame, of Madison and 
his no less elegant wife, — the Tennessee back- 
woodsman and Peggy O'Neil. 

When, it is not too soon to ask, in the general 
reform of civil service, shall the possibility of such 
anomalies be entirely removed by restricting the 
executive mansion to an executive bureau, and 
entirely separating social ceremony from official 
state, to the final suppression of back stairs influ- 
ence and kitchen cabinets? 



Mr. Gallatin's land speculations were not 
profitable. His plan of Swiss colonization did 
not result in any pecuniary advantage to himself. 
His little patrimony, received in 1786, he invested 
in a plantation of about five hundred acres on the 
Monongahela. Twelve years later, in 1798, he 
was neither richer nor poorer than at the time of 
his investment. The entire amount of claims which 
he held with Savary he sold in 1794, without war- 
ranty of title, to Robert Morris, then the great 
speculator in western lands, for four thousand 
dollars, Pennsylvania currency. This sum, his 
little farm, and five or six hundred pounds cash 
were then his entire fortune. In 1794, the revo- 
lution in Switzerland having driven out numbers 
of his compatriots, he formed a plan of association 
consisting of one hundred and fifty shares of eight 
hundred dollars each, of which the Genevans in 
Philadelphia, Odier, Fazzi, the two Cazenove, 
Cheriot, Bourdillon, Duby, Couronne, Badollet, 
and himself took twenty-five each. Twenty-five 
were offered to Americans, which were nearly all 
taken up, and one hundred were sent to Geneva, 


Switzerland, to D'Yvernois and his friends. The 
project was to purchase land, and Mr. Gallatin 
had decided upon a location in the northeast part 
of Pennsylvania, or in New York, on the border. 
In the summer Gallatin made a journey through 
New York to examine lands with the idea of occu- 
pation. In July, 1795, he made a settlement with 
Mr. Morris, taking his notes for three thousand 
five hundred dollars. Balancing his accounts, Mr. 
Gallatin then found himself worth seven thousand 
dollars, in addition to which he had about twenty- 
five thousand acres of waste lands and the notes of 
Mr. Morris. In 1798 Mr. Morris failed, and, 
under the harsh operations of the old law, was 
sent to jail. Mr. Gallatin never recovered the 
three thousand dollars owed to him in the final 
balance of his real estate operations. 

After Mr. Gallatin left the Treasury he located 
patents for seventeen hundred acres of Virginia 
military lands in the State of Ohio, on warrants 
purchased in 1784. In 1815 he valued his entire 
estate, exclusive of his farm on the Monongahela, 
at less than twelve thousand dollars. Forty years 
later he complained of his investment as a trou- 
blesome and unproductive property, which had 
plagued him all his life. Besides the purchase of 
lands, Mr. Gallatin invested part of his little 
capital in building houses on his farm, and in the 
country store which Badollet managed. The one 
yielded no return, and the sum put in the other 
was lost through the incompetency of his honest 


but inexperienced friend. His wife brought him 
a small property, but at no time in his life was 
he possessed of more than a modest competency. 
But he had never any discontent with his fortune 
nor any desire to be rich. 

Mrs. Gallatin, who had always until her mar- 
riage lived in cities, was entirely unfit for frontier 
life. In these days of railroads it is not easy to 
measure the isolation of their country home. Pitts- 
burgh was nearly five days' journey from Phila- 
delphia, and the crossing of the Alleghanies took 
a day and a half more. Before his marriage Mr. 
Gallatin had seen very little of society. Though 
in early manhood he felt no embarrassment among 
men, he said 'that he never yet was able to divest 
himself of an anti-Chesterfieldian awkwardness in 
mixed companies.' He did not take advantage 
of his residence in Philadelphia to accustom him- 
self to the ways of the world. There he lived in 
lodgings and met the leading public characters of 
both parties. But when he took his seat in the 
cabinet, he found it necessary to enter upon house- 
keeping and to take a prominent part in society, 
for which his wife was admirably suited, both by 
temperament and education. Washington Irving 
wrote of her in November, 1812, that she was 
c the most stylish woman in the drawing-room that 
session, and that she dressed with more splendor 
than any other of the noblesse ; ' and again the 
same year compared her with the wife of the Presi- 
dent, whose courtly manners and consummate tact 


and grace are a tradition of the republican court. 
"Tell your good lady," mother Irving wrote to 
James Ren wick, "that Mrs. Madison has been 
much indisposed, and at last Wednesday's evening 
drawing-room Mrs. Gallatin presided in her place. 
I was not present, but those who were assure me 
that she filled Mrs. Madison's chair to a miracle." 
This is in the sense of dignity, for Mrs. Gallatin 
was of small stature. 

Mr. Gallatin's house shared the fate of the 
public buildings and was burned by the British 
when Washington was captured in 1814. He was 
then abroad on the peace mission. On his return 
from France Mr. Gallatin made one more attempt 
to realize his early idea of a country home, and 
with his family went in the summer of 1823 to 
Friendship Hill. Here an Irish carpenter built 
for him a house which he humorously described as 
being in the ' Hyberno-teutonic style, — the out- 
side, with its port-hole-looking windows, having 
the appearance of Irish barracks, while the inside 
ornaments were similar to those of a Dutch tavern, 
and in singular contrast to the French marble chim- 
ney-pieces, paper, mirrors, and billiard-table.' 
In the summer Friendship Hill was an agreeable 
residence, but Mr. Gallatin found it in winter too 
isolated even for his taste. 

One exciting circumstance enlivened the spring 
of 1825. This was the passage of Lafayette, the 
guest of the nation, through western Pennsylvania 
on his famous tour. Mr. Gallatin welcomed him 


in an address before the court-house of Uniontown, 
the capital of Fayette County, on May 26. In his 
speech Mr. Gallatin reviewed the condition of the 
liberal cause in Europe, and the emancipation of 
Greece, then agitating both continents. In this 
all scholars as well as all liberals were of one mind 
and heart. After the proceedings Lafayette drove 
with Mr. Gallatin to Friendship Hill, where he 
passed the night; crowds of people pouring down 
the valley from the mountain roads to see the 
adopted son of the United States, the friend of 
Washington, the liberator of France. The inti- 
macy between these two great men, who had alike 
devoted the flower of their youth to the interests 
of civilization and the foundation of the new re- 
public, was never broken. 

Mr. Gallatin passed only one winter at New 
Geneva. On his return from his last mission to 
England he settled permanently in New York, 
and in 1828 took a house at No. 113 Bleecker 
Street, then in the suburbs of the city. He wrote 
to Badollet in March, 1829, that ' it was an ill- 
contrived plan to think that the banks of the Mo- 
nongahela, where he was perfectly satisfied to live 
and die in retirement, could be borne by the female 
part of his family, or by children brought up at 
Washington and Paris." The population of New 
York has always been migratory, and Mr. Galla- 
tin was no exception to the rule. In the ten years 
which followed his first location he changed his 
residence on four May days, finally settling at 


No. 57 Bleecker Street, nearly opposite to Crosby 
Street. His life in New York is a complete period 
in his intellectual as in his physical existence, and 
the most interesting of his career. His last twenty 
years were in great measure devoted to scientific 

The National Bank, over which he presided for 
the first ten years, took but a small part of his 
time. The remainder was given up to study and 
conversation, an art in which he had no superior 
in this country and probably none abroad. Soon 
after his arrival in New York, Mr. Gallatin was 
chosen a member of "The Club," an association 
famous in its day. As no correct account of this 
social organization has ever appeared, the letter 
of invitation to Mr. Gallatin is of some interest. 
It was written by Dr. John Augustine Smith, on 
November 2, 1829. An extract gives the origin 
of the club. 

" Nearly two years ago some of the literary gentle- 
men of the city, feeling severely the almost total want 
of intercourse among themselves, determined to es- 
tablish an association which should bring them more 
frequently into contact. Accordingly they founded the 
' Club ' as it is commonly called, and which I believe I 
mentioned to you when I had the pleasure of seeing 
you in Bond Street. Into this ' Club ' twelve persons 
only are admitted, and there are at present three gentle- 
men of the Bar, Chancellor Kent, Messrs. Johnston and 
Jay, three professors of Columbia College, Messrs. 
McVickar, Moore, and Renwick, the Rev. Drs. Wain- 


wright and Mathews, the former of the Episcopal 
Church, the latter of the Presbyterian Church, two mer- 
chants, Messrs. Brevoort and Goodhue, and I have the 
lion or to represent the medical faculty. Our twelfth 
associate was Mr. Morse, of the National Academy of 
Design, of which he was president, and his departure for 
Europe has caused a vacancy. For agreeableness of 
conversation there is nothing in New York at all com- 
parable to our institution. We meet once a week ; no 
officers, no formalities ; invitations, when in case of in- 
telligent and distinguished strangers, and after a plain 
and light repast, retire about eleven o'clock." 

At this club Mr. Gallatin, with his wonderful 
conversational powers, became at once the centre 
of interest. The club met at the houses of mem- 
bers in the winter evenings. There was always 
a supper, but the rule was absolute that there 
should be only one hot dish served, a regulation 
which the ladies endeavored to evade when the 
turn of their husbands arrived to supply the feast. 
Among the later members were Professor Ander- 
son, John A. Stevens, Mr. Gallatin's countryman 
De Rham, John Wells, Samuel Ward, Gulian 
C. Verplanck, and Charles King. No literary 
symposium in America was ever more delightful, 
more instructive, than these meetings. On these 
occasions Mr. Gallatin led the conversation, which 
usually covered a wide field. His memory was 
marvelous, and his personal acquaintance with 
the great men who were developed by the French 
Revolution, emperors and princes, heroes, states- 


men, and men of science, gave to the easy flow of 
his speech the zest of anecdote and the spice of 
epigram. Once heard he was never forgotten. 
And this rare faculty he preserved undiminished 
to the close of his life. Washington Irving, him- 
self the most genial of men, and the most graceful 
of talkers, wrote of him, after meeting him at din- 
ner, in 1841: "Mr. Gallatin was in fine spirits 
and full of conversation. He is upwards of eighty, 
yet has all the activity and clearness of mind and 
gayety of spirits of a young man. How delightful 
it is to see such intellectual and joyous old age : to 
see life running out clear and sparkling to the 
last drop ! With such a blessed temperament one 
would be content to linger and spin out the last 
thread of existence." 

At the close of the year 1829 Mr. Gallatin at- 
tempted to carry out his old and favorite plan of 
the "establishment of a general system of rational 
and practical education fitted for all, and gratui- 
tous^ open to all." The want of an institution 
for education, combining the advantages of a Eu- 
ropean university with the recent improvements in 
instruction, was seriously felt. New York, already 
a great city, and rapidly growing, offered the most 
promising field for the national university on a 
broad and liberal foundation correspondent to the 
spirit of the age. The difficulty of obtaining 
competent teachers of even the lower branches of 
knowledge in the public schools, the system of 
which was in its infancy, was great. Persons 


could be found with learning enough, but they 
were generally deficient in the art of teaching. 
Governor Throop noticed this deficiency in his 
message of January, 1830, without, however, the 
recommendation of any remedy by legislation. 
The existing colleges could not supply the want. 
At this period religious prejudice controlled the 
actions of men in every walk of life ; for the old 
colonial jealousies of Episcopalian and Presbyte- 
rian survived the Revolution. The religious dis- 
trust of scientific investigation was also at its 
height. Columbia College, the successor of old 
King's College, was governed in the Episcopalian 
interest. Private zeal could alone be relied upon 
to establish the new enterprise on a foundation 
free from the influence of clergy; an indispensable 
condition of success. These were the views of 
Mr. Jefferson in 1807. These were the views of 
Mr. Gallatin. In response to his request abun- 
dant subscriptions in money and material were at 
once forthcoming. 

The project of a national university at New 
York was received by the literary institutions of 
the United States with great enthusiasm. In Oc- 
tober, 1830, a convention of more than a hundred 
literary and scientific gentlemen, delegates from 
different parts of the country, and of the highest 
distinction, was held in the common-council cham- 
ber. The outcome of their deliberations was the 
foundation of the New York University. Mr. 
Gallatin was the president of the first council, but 


his connection with the institution was of short 
continuance. The reasons for his withdrawal were 
set forth in a letter to his old friend, John Badol- 
let, written February 7, 1833. Beginning with 
an expression of his desire to devote what remained 
of his life u to the establishment in this immense 
and growing city (New York) of a general system 
of rational and practical education fitted for all 
and gratuitously opened to all," he said, "but 
finding that the object was no longer the same, 
that a certain portion of the clergy had obtained 
the control, and that their object, though laudable, 
was special and quite distinct from mine, I re- 
signed at the end of one year rather than to strug- 
gle, probably in vain for what was nearly unat- 
tainable." The history of the university through 
its precarious existence of half a century amply 
justifies Mr. Gallatin's previsions and retirement. 
Instead of an American Sorbonne, of which he 
dreamed, it has never been more than a local in- 
stitution, struggling to hold a place in a crowded 

Mr. Gallatin followed the evolutions of French 
politics with interest. His friend Lafayette, who, 
during the Empire, lived in almost enforced retire- 
ment at his estate of La Grange, was a voluntary 
exile from the court of Charles X., whose autocra- 
tic principles and aggressive course were rapidly 
driving France into fresh revolution. In July, 
1830, the crisis was precipitated by the royal de- 
crees published in the "Moniteur." Lafayette, 


who was on his estate, hurried instantly to Paris, 
where he became a rallying point, and himself 
signed the note to the king, announcing that he 
had ceased to reign. In September following it 
fell to him to write to Mr. Gallatin on the occa- 
sion of the marriage of Gallatin's daughter. In 
this union Lafayette had a triple interest. Be- 
sides his personal attachment for Mr. Gallatin, 
each of the young couple was descended from one 
of his old companions-in-arms. The groom, Mr. 
Byam Kerby Stevens, was a son of Colonel Eben- 
ezer Stevens, of the continental service, who was 
Lafayette's chief of artillery in his expedition 
against Arnold in Virginia, in the spring of 1781; 
the bride, Frances Gallatin, was, on the mother's 
side, the granddaughter of Commodore James 
Nicholson, who commanded the gunboats which, 
improvised by Colonel Stevens, drove out the Brit- 
ish vessels from Annapolis Bay and opened the 
route to the blockaded American flotilla. 1 

" Paris, September 8, 1830. 
" My Dear Frtexd : — A long time has elapsed 
since I had the pleasure to hear from you. I need not, 
I hope, add, that my affectionate feelings have been con- 
tinually with you, especially in what related to my young 
friend whose change of name has more deeply interested 
every member, and in a very particular manner, the 
younger part of the family. Let me hear of you all, 
and receive my tender regards and wishes, with those of 
my children and grandchildren. Lafayette." 

1 An account of this expedition may be found in the publica- 
tions of the Maryland Historical Society. 


Both of the young people had the honor of La- 
fayette's acquaintance, — Mr. Stevens during a 
visit to Paris, and Miss Gallatin during her fa- 
ther's residence there as minister, when she was 
much admired, and was, in the words of Madame 
Bonaparte (Miss Patterson), ' a beauty. ' In this 
letter Lafayette gives a picturesque account of the 
three days' fighting at the barricades, and of the 
departure of the ex -king and the royal army, 
accompanied by " some twenty thousand Parisians, 
in coaches, hacks, and omnibus. . . . The royal 
party, after returning the jewels of the crown, 
went slowly to Cherbourg with their own escort, 
under the protection of three commissioners, and 
were there permitted quietly to embark for Eng- 

In 1834 Mr. Gallatin's sympathies were greatly 
excited by the arrival at New York of a number 
of Poles, many of them educated men, and among 
them Etsko, a nephew of Kosciusko. A public 
committee was raised, called the Polish committee, 
of which Mr. Gallatin was chosen chairman. Be- 
sides superintending the collection of funds, he 
arranged and carried out in the minutest details 
a plan to quarter the exiles upon the inhabitants. 
A list of names ending in ski still remains among 
his papers; to each was assigned a number, and 
they were allotted by streets and numbers, — num- 
ber 182, one Szelesegynski, was taken by Mr. 
Gallatin himself, to look after horses. These un- 
fortunate men were then distributed through the 


country, as occupations could be found. In Octo- 
ber Mr. Gallatin's notes show that all had been 
provided for except fourteen boys, for whom a 
subscription was taken up. A tract of land in 
Illinois was assigned by Congress to these politi- 
cal exiles. 

Mr. Gallatin's first acquaintance with the Amer- 
ican Indian was made at Machias. In the neigh- 
borhood of this frontier town, across the Canadian 
border, there were still remnants of the Abenaki 
and Etchemin tribes. They were French in sym- 
pathy, and all converts to the Roman Catholic 
faith. Mr. Lesdernier, with whom Gallatin 
lodged, had influence over them from the trade 
he established with them in furs, and as their reli- 
gious purveyor. He had paid a visit to Boston 
at the time the French fleet was there in 1781„ 
and brought home a Capuchin priest for their ser- 
vice. To the young Genevan, brought up in the 
restrictions of European civilization, the history 
of the savage was a favorite study. In the winter 
evenings, in the quiet of the log hut, with the aid 
of one familiar with the customs and traditions of 
the race, the foundations were laid of a permanent 
interest in this almost untrodden branch of human 
science. The Canadian Indians, however, hemmed 
in by French and English settlements, were semi- 
civilized. The Miamis and Shawnees, who ranged 
the valley of the Ohio, were the tribes nearest 
to Gallatin's home on the Monongahela. These, 
though for a long time under the influence of the 


French, retained their original wildness, and were, 
during the first years of his residence, the dread 
of the frontier. 

The interest aroused in the mind of Mr. Gal- 
latin by personal observation was quickened by 
his intimacy with Jefferson, whose "Notes on 
Virginia," published in 1801, contained the first 
attempt at a classification and enumeration of 
American tribes. The earlier work of Golden was 
confined to the Five Nations of the Iroquois Con- 
federacy. The arrangement of the Louisiana ter- 
ritory, ceded by France, brought Mr. Gallatin into 
contact with Pierre Louis Chouteau, and an inti- 
macy formed with John Jacob Astor, who was 
largely concerned in the fur trade of the North- 
west, widened the field of interest, which included 
the geography of the interior and the customs of 
its inhabitants. Mr. Gallatin's examination of 
the subject was general, however, and did not 
take a practical scientific turn until the year 1823, 
when, at the request of Baron Alexander von 
Humboldt, he set forth the results of his studies 
in the form of a Synopsis of the Indian tribes. 
This essay, communicated by Humboldt to the 
Italian geographer Balbi, then engaged upon his 
"Atlas Ethnographique du Globe," — a classifica- 
tion by languages of ancient and modern peoples, 
— was quoted by him in his volume introductory 
to that remarkable work published in 1826, in a 
manner to attract the attention of the scientific 
world. Vater, in his "Mithridates," first at' 


tempted a classification of the languages of the 
globe, but the work of Mr. Gallatin, though con- 
fined in subject, was original in its conception and 
treatment. In the winter of 1825-26 a large gath- 
ering of southern Indians at Washington enabled 
him to obtain good vocabularies of several of the 
tribes. Uniting these to those already acquired, 
he published a table of all the existing tribes, and 
at the same time, at his instance, the War Depart- 
ment circulated through its posts a vocabulary con- 
taining six hundred words of verbal forms and of 
selected sentences, and a series of grammatical 
queries, to which answers were invited. He also 
opened an elaborate correspondence with such per- 
sons as were best acquainted with the Indian tribes 
in different sections of the country. 1 The replies 

Washington, 29th May, 1826. 

1 Sir, — Mr. Stewart communicated to me your answer of 4th 
April last to the letter which, at my request, he had addressed to 
you ; and I return you my thanks for your kind offer to forward 
the object in view, — one which is not, however, of a private nature 
but connected with what is intended to be a National work ; and 
I have delayed writing- in order to be able to send at the same 
time the papers herewith transmitted. 

It is at my suggestion that the Secretary of War has, with the 
approbation of the President, taken measures to collect compara- 
tive vocabularies of all the languages and dialects of the Indian 
tribes still existing within the United States. The circular is ad- 
dressed to all the Indian superintendents and agents, and to the 
missionaries with whom the Department corresponds. But they 
have no agent with the Nottoways, and we are fortunate that you 
should have been disposed to lend your aid on this occasion. 

It is the intention of government that the result of these re- 
searches should be published, giving due credit to every indi 


to these various queries were few in number, but 
the practical plan, adhered to in substance, has 
resulted in the collection by the Smithsonian In- 
stitution of a very large number of Indian vocabu- 
laries. 1 

This class of investigation, in its ample scope 
for original research and the ascertainment of 
principles by analysis and analogic expression, 
was peculiarly agreeable to Mr. Gallatin. His 
friend, du Ponceau, 2 who served in the American 
war as the secretary of Steuben, and was now 

vidual who shall have assisted in a work that has been long- ex- 
pected from us, and which will be equally honorable to the per- 
sons concerned and to the country. It had been my intention to 
contribute my share in its further progress : this my approaching* 
departure for Europe forbids. The inclosed papers, attending to 
the Notes and to the circular, are so full that I need not add any 
further explanation, and have only to request that you will have 
the goodness to transmit whatever vocabulary and other infor- 
mation you may obtain to Colonel Tho. L. McKinney, Office of 
Indian Affairs, under cover directed to the Secretary of War. 
Mr. McKinney will also be happy to answer any queries on the 
subject you may have to propose. 

I have the honor to be respectfully, sir, 

Your most obedient servant, 

Albert Gallatin. 
Mr. James Rochelle, 

Jerusalem, Southampton County, Virginia. 

Communicated by J. H. Rochelle, Jerusalem, Virginia. 

1 Among the most distinguished of those who have followed 
the pathway indicated by Mr. Gallatin was the late George 
GibLs, an indefatigable student and an admirable ethnologist. 
His Chinook jargon was published by the Smithsonian Institution. 

2 Mr. du Ponceau became president of the learned societies of 
Pennsylvania: the Historical Society and the American Philo- 
sophical Society. 


established in Philadelphia, was likewise deeply 
engaged in philologic studies ; in 1819 he had pub- 
lished a memoir of the construction of the languages 
of the North American Indians, which he followed 
later with other papers of a similar nature, among 
which were a "Grammar of the Languages of the 
Lenni Lenape or Delaware Indians," and a me- 
moir on the grammatical system of the languages 
of the Indian tribes of North America, a learned 
and highly instructive paper, which took the Vol- 
ney prize at Paris. 

In 1836 Mr. Gallatin's original paper, contrib- 
uted to Balbi, amplified by subsequent acquisitions, 
was published by the American Antiquarian Soci- 
ety of Worcester, in the first volume of its Trans- 
actions. It was entitled "A Synopsis of the In- 
dian Tribes, within the United States east of the 
Rocky Mountains, and in the British and Russian 
Possessions in North America." This elaborate 
inquiry, the foundation of the science in America, 
was intended originally to embrace all the tribes 
north of the Mexican semi-civilized nations. From 
the want of material, however, it was confined at 
the southward to the territory of the United States, 
and eastward of the Rocky Mountains. It in- 
cluded eighty -one tribes, divided into twenty-eight 
families, and was accompanied by a colored map, 
with tribal indications. The result of the investi- 
gation Mr. Gallatin held to be proof that all the 
languages, not only of our own Indian tribes, but 
of the nations inhabiting America from the Arctic 


Ocean to Cape Horn, have a distinct character 
common to all. This paper attracted great atten- 
tion in Europe. It was reviewed by the Count de 
Circourt, whose interest in the subject was height- 
ened by personal acquaintance with the author. 
John C. Calhoun, acknowledging receipt of a copy 
of the Synopsis, said in striking phrase 'that he 
had long thought that the analogy of languages is 
destined to recover much of the lost history of 
nations just as geology has of the globe we in- 

In 1838, Congress having accepted the trust of 
John Smithson of X100,000, and pledged the faith 
of the United States for its purposes, Mr. Forsyth, 
the secretary of state, addressed Mr. Gallatin, at 
the request of the President, requesting his views 
as to its proper employment; but Mr. Gallatin 
does not appear to have answered the communica- 
tion. The programme of the Smithsonian Insti- 
tution, inclosed to the board of regents in its first 
report, stated its object to be the increase and 
diffusion of knowledge, and bears marks of the 
general views which Mr. Gallatin had for many 
years urged on public attention. The first of the 
Smithsonian "Contributions to Knowledge" was 
the memoir of Ancient Monuments of the Missis- 
sippi Valley, by Squier and Davis. Before its 
publication was undertaken, however, it was sub- 
mitted to the Ethnological Society. Mr. Gallatin 
returned it, with the approval of the society, and 
Bonie words of commendation of his own addressed 


to Professor Henry, the learned superintendent of 
the Smithsonian Institution. 

The period of temporary political repose, which 
followed the peace of Vienna and the establishment 
of the balance of power by the allied sovereigns, 
was an era in human knowledge. Science made 
rapid progress, and in its turn showed the broad 
and liberal influence of the great revolution. In 
1842 societies were founded in Paris and London 
to promote the study of ethnology. Mr. Gallatin 
would not be behindhand in this important work 
for which America offered a virgin field. Drawing 
about him a number of gentlemen of. similar tastes 
with his own, he founded in New York, in 1842, 
the American Ethnological Society. Among his 
associates were Dr. Robinson, the famous explorer 
of Palestine, Schoolcraft, Bartlett, and Professor 
Turner, noted for their researches in the history 
and languages of the Indian races. Messrs. At- 
water, Bradford, Hawks, Gibbs, Mayer, Dr. Mor- 
ton, Pickering, Stephens, Ewbank, and Squier 
were also, either in the beginning or soon after, 
members of this select and learned institution, of 
which Mr. Gallatin was the central figure. One 
of its members said in 1871, ' Mr. Gallatin's house 
was the true seat of the society, and Mr. Gallatin 
himself its controlling spirit. His name gave it 
character, and from his purse mainly was defrayed 
the cost of the two volumes of the " Transactions T ' 
which constitute about the only claim the scc.itty 
possesses to the respect of the scientific world.' 


To the first of these volumes, published in 1845, 
Mr. Gallatin contributed an "Essay on the semi- 
civilized nations of Mexico and Central America, 
embracing elaborate notes on their languages, nu- 
meration, calendars, history, and chronology, and 
an inquiry into the probable origin of their semi- 
civilization." In this he included all existing cer- 
tain knowledge of the languages, history, astron- 
omy, and progress in art of these peoples. A copy 
of this work he sent to General Scott, then in the 
city of Mexico after his triumphant campaign, in- 
closing a memorandum which he urged the general 
to hand to civilians attached to the army. This 
was a request to purchase books, copies of docu- 
ments, printed grammars, and vocabularies of the 
Mexican languages, and he authorized the general 
to spend four hundred dollars in this purpose on 
his account. In the second volume, published in 
1848, he printed the result of his continued inves- 
tigations on the subject which first interested him, 
as an introduction to a republication of a work by 
Mr. Hale on the "Indians of Northwest America." 
This consisted of geographical notices, an account 
of Indian means of subsistence, the ancient semi- 
civilization of the Northwest, Indian philology, 
and analogic comparisons with the Chinese and 
Polynesian languages. These papers Mr. Gallatin 
modestly described to Chevalier as the ' fruits of 
his leisure,' and to Sismondi he wrote that he had 
not the requisite talent for success in literature or 
science. They nevertheless entitle him to the hon- 

orable name of the Father of American Ethnogra- 

In 1837 Mr. Wheaton, the American minister 
at Berlin, requested Mr. Gallatin to put the Baron 
von Humboldt in possession of authentic data 
concerning the production of gold in the United 
States. Humboldt had visited the Oural and Si- 
berian regions in 1829, at the request of the Em- 
peror of Russia, to make investigations as to their 
production of the precious metals. Mr. Gallatin 
was the only authority in the United States on 
the subject. Later von Humboldt wrote to Mr. 
Gallatin of the interest felt abroad, and by him- 
self, in the gold of the mountains of Virginia and 
Tennessee, a country which rivaled on a small 
scale the Dorado of Siberia. The treasures of the 
Pacific coast were not yet dreamed of. 

Mr. Gallatin perfectly understood the range of 
his own powers. He said of himself : — 

" If I have met with any success, either in public 
bodies, as an executive officer, or in foreign negotiations, 
it has been exclusively through a patient and most 
thorough investigation of all the attainable facts, and a 
cautious application of these to the questions under dis- 
cussion. . . . Long habit has given me great facility in 
collating, digesting, and extracting complex documents, 
but I am not hasty in drawing inferences ; the arrange- 
ment of the facts and arguments is always to me a con- 
siderable labor, and though aiming at nothing more than 
perspicuity and brevity, I am a very slow writer." 

Mr. Gallatin's manuscripts and drafts show long 


and minute labor in their well considered and 
abundant alterations. Referring on one occasion 
to his habit of reasoning, Mr. Gallatin remarked, 
that of all processes that of analogy is the most 
dangerous, yet that which he habitually used ; that 
it required the greatest possible number of facts. 
This is the foundation of philology, and his under- 
standing of its method and its dangers is the rea- 
son of his success in this branch of science. 

The difficulty experienced in establishing any 
literary or scientific institutions in New York was 
very great. An effort made in 1830, which Mr. 
Gallatin favored, to establish a literary periodical 
failed, not on account of the pecuniary difficulties, 
but from the impossibility of uniting a sufficient 
number of able cobperators. But Mr, Gallatin's 
interest in literature was not as great as in science. 1 

In 1841 a national institution for the promotion 
of science was organized at Washington. The 
cooperation of Mr. Gallatin was invited, but the 
society had a short existence. In 1843 Mr. Gal- 
latin was chosen president of the New York His- 
torical Society. His inaugural address is an epi- 
tome of political wisdom. Pronounced at any 
crisis of our history, it would have become a text 
for the student. In this sketch he analyzed the 
causes which contributed to form our national 

1 His favorite novel was The Antiquary, which he read once a 
year. Novels, he said, should be read, the last chapter first, in 
order that appreciation of the style should not be lost in the in- 
terest excited by the story. 


character and to establish a government founded 
on justice and on equal rights. He showed how, 
united by a common and imminent danger, the 
thirteen States succeeded in ^ss^Hing and obtain- 
ing independence without the aid of a central and 
efficient government, and the difficulties which 
were encountered when a voluntary surrender of 
a part of their immense sovereignty became neces- 
sary as a condition of national existence. He said 
that the doctrine that all powers should emanate 
from the people is not a question of expediency. 

In this address he summed up the reasons why 
Washington exercised such a beneficial influence 
upon the destinies of his country. In a confiden- 
tial letter to his wife in 1797, he expressed an 
opinion that the father of his country was not a 
good-natured and amiable man, but time had mel- 
lowed these recollections and softened the asperity 
of this judgment. Washington had not, he said 
(in 1843), ' an extraordinary amount of acquired 
knowledge ; he was neither a classical scholar nor 
a man of science, nor was he endowed with the 
powers of eloquence, nor with other qualities more 
strong than solid, which might be mentioned ; but 
he had a profound and almost innate sense of jus- 
tice, on all public occasions a perfect control of 
his strong passions, 1 above all a most complete 

1 Mr. Gallatin's assertion, which corresponded with that of Jef- 
ferson, that Washington had naturally strong- passions, but had 
attained complete mastery over them, is quoted by the Earl of 
Stanhope (Lord Mahon) in his famous eulogy of Washington's 


and extraordinary self-abnegation. Personal con- 
sequences and considerations were not even thought 
of, they never crossed his mind, they were alto- 
gether obliterated.' Mr. Gallatin held that "the 
Americans had a right to be proud of Washington, 
because he was selected and maintained during his 
whole career by the people — never could he have 
been thus chosen and constantly supported had he 
not been the type and representative of the Ameri- 
can people." 

The commemoration of the fortieth anniversary 
of the foundation of the New York Historical So- 
ciety, November, 1844, was an occasion of unusual 
interest. John Romeyn Brodhead, who had just 
returned from the Hague with the treasures of 
New Netherland history gathered during his mis- 
sion, was the orator of the day. The venerable 
John Quincy Adams, Mr. Gallatin's old associate 
at Ghent, was present. After the address, which 
was delivered at the Church of the Messiah on 
Broadway, the society and its guests crossed the 
street to the New York Hotel, where a banquet 
awaited them. Mr. Gallatin retired early, leaving 
the chair to the first vice-president, Mr. Wm, 
Beach Lawrence. After he had left the room, Mr. 
Adams, speaking to a toast to the archaeologists 
of America, said: "Mr. Gallatin, in sending to me 
the invitations of the society, added the expression 
of his desire ' to shake hands with me once more in 
this world.' " Mr. Adams could not but respond 
to his request. In his remarks he said : — 


" I have lived long, sir, in this world, and I have been 
connected with all sorts of men, of all sects and descrip- 
tions. I have been in the public service for a great 
part of my life, and filled various offices of trust, in 
conjunction with that venerable gentleman, Albert Gal- 
latin. I have known him half a century. In many 
things we differed ; on many questions of public inter- 
est and policy we were divided, and in the history of 
parties in this country there is no man from whom I 
have so widely differed as from him. But in other 
things we have harmonized ; and now there is no man 
with whom I more thoroughly agree on all points than 
I do with him. But one word more let me say, before 
I leave you and him, birds of passage as we are, bound 
to a warmer and more congenial clime, — that among all 
public men with whom I have been associated in the 
course of my political life, whether agreeing or differing 
in opinion from him, I have always found him to be an 
honest and honorable man." 

In the road to harmony Mr. Adams had to do 
the traveling. Mr. Gallatin never changed his 
political opinions. The political career of the two 
men offered this singular contrast: Adams, dis- 
satisfied with his party, passed into opposition; 
Gallatin, though at variance with the policy of the 
administration of which he made a part, held his 
fealty, and confined himself to the operations of 
his own bureau. 

For a period far beyond the allotted years of 
man Mr. Gallatin retained the elasticity of his 
physical nature as well as his mental perspicacity. 
In middle age he was slight of figure, his height 


about five feet ten inches, his form compact and 
of nervous vigor. His complexion was Italian ; * 
his expression keen; his nose long, prominent; 
his mouth small, fine cut, and mobile; his eyes 
hazel, and penetrative; his skull a model for the 
sculptor. Thus he appears in the portrait painted 
by Gilbert Stuart about the time that he took 
charge of the Treasury Department; he was then 
about forty years of age. In the fine portrait by 
William H. Powell, taken from life in 1843, and 
preserved in the gallery of the New York Histori- 
cal Society, these characteristics appear in stronger 
outline. Monsieur de Bacourt, 2 the literary ex- 
ecutor of Talleyrand, who was the French Ambas- 
sador to the United States in 1840, paid a visit to 
Mr. Gallatin in that year, and describes him as 
a "beau vieillard de quatre-vingt ans," who has 
fully preserved his faculties. Bacourt alludes to 
his remarkable face, with its clear, fine cut fea- 
tures, and his " physiognomie pleine de finesse;" 
and dwells also upon the ease and charm of his 

As his life slowly drew to its close, one after 
another of the few of his old friends who re- 
mained dropped from the road. Early in 1848 
Adams fell in harness, on the floor of the House 
of Representatives ; Lord Ashburton died in May. 
Finally, nearest, dearest of all, the companion of 

1 The Gallatins claim to descend from one Callatinus, a Roman 

2 Souvenirs afun Diplomate. Paris, 1882. 


his triumphs and disappointments, the sharer of 
his honors and his joys, his wife, was taken from 
him by the relentless hand. The summer of 
1849 found him crushed by this last affliction, and 
awaiting his own summons of release. He was 
taken to Mount Bonaparte, the country-seat of 
his son-in-law, at Astoria on Long Island, where 
he died in his daughter's arms on Sunday, August 
12, 1849. The funeral services were held in Trin- 
ity Church on the Tuesday following, and his body 
was laid to rest in the Nicholson vault, 1 in the old 
graveyard adjoining. The elegant monument 
erected during his lifetime is one of the attractive 
features of this venerable cemetery, in whose dust 
mingle the remains of the temple of no more ele- 
vated spirit than his own. The season was a ter- 
rible one — the cholera was raging, the city was 
deserted. In the general calamity private sorrow 
disappeared, or the occasion would have been 
marked by a demonstration of public grief and of 
public honor. As the tidings went from city to 
city, and country to country, the friends of science, 
of that universal wisdom which knows neither 
language nor race, paused in their investigations 
to pay respectful homage to his character, his in- 
tellect, and to that without which either or both 
in combination are inadequate to success — his 
labor in the field. 

On October 2, 1849, at the first meeting of the 

1 This was the vault of the Witter family, a daughter of which 
Commodore Nicholson married. 


Historical Society after the death of Mr. Gallatin, 
Mr. Luther Bradish, the presiding officer, spoke 
of him in impressive words, as the last link con- 
necting the present with the past. He dwelt upon 
the peculiar pleasure with which the presence of 
Mr. Gallatin was always hailed, and the peculiar 
interest it gave to the proceedings of the society, 
and many an eye was dimmed, as he recalled the 
venerable form, the beautifully classic head, the 
countenance ever beaming with intelligence, and 
sunlmed up the long and useful career of the de- 
parted sage in these impressive words : — 

" The name of Albert Gallatin is emphatically a name 
of history. Few men have lived in any age whose 
biographies have been so intimately connected with the 
history of their country. Living in one of the most in- 
teresting periods of the world, a period of great events, 
of the discussion of great principles and the settlement of 
great interests, almost the whole of his long and active 
life was passed in public service amidst those events and 
in those discussions. . . . For nearly half a century he 
was almost constantly employed in the public service ; al- 
most every department of that service has received the 
benefit of his extraordinary talents and his varied and 
extensive and accurate knowledge. Whether in legisla- 
tion, in finance, or in diplomacy, he has been equally 
distinguished in all. In all or in either he has had few 
equals and still fewer superiors." 

To Jeremy Bentham Mr. Gallatin acknowledged 
himself indebted, as his master in the art of legis- 
lation; but from whatever ground he drew his 


maxims of government, they were reduced to har- 
mony in the crucible of his own intelligence by 
the processes of that brain which Spurzheim pro- 
nounced capital, 1 and Dumont held to be the best 
head in America. In that massive and profound 
structure lay faculties of organization and adminis- 
tration which mark the Latin and Italian mind in 
its highest form of intellectual development. 

His moral excellence was no less conspicuous 
than his intellectual power. He had a profound 
sense of justice, a love of liberty, and an unfalter- 
ing belief in the capacity of the human race for 
self-rule. Versed in the learning of centuries, and 
familiar with every experiment of government, he 
was full of the liberal spirit of his age. To a 
higher degree than any American, native or for- 
eign born, unless Franklin, with whose broad na- 
ture he had many traits in common, Albert Gal- 
latin deserves the proud title, aimed at by many, 
reached by few, of Citizen of the World. 

1 " In my youth the fashion was to decide in conformity with 
Lavater's precepts ; then came Camper's facial angle, which gave 
a decided superiority to the white man and monkey ; and hoth 
have been superseded by the bumps of the skull. This criterion 
is that which suits me best, for Spurzheim declared I had a 
capital head, which he might without flattery say to everybody.'* 
Gallatin to Lewis T. Cist of Cincinnati, November 21, 1837. 


Adams, Henky, calls treaty of Ghent 
the work of Gallatin, 324. 

Adams, John, announces election of 
Gallatin as senator, 60 ; convenes 
Congress to consider relations with 
France, 132 ; his message, 133 ; re- 
plies coolly to resolution of House, 
13G, 137 ; remarks of McClanachan 
to, 138 ; his message in 1797, 139 ; 
visited by House to present answer, 
140 ; wishes to establish new for- 
eign missions, 141 ; informs Con- 
gress of French outrages, 147 ; and 
of preparations for war, 147 ; sends 
in X Y Z dispatches, 149; sends 
message on French relations, 152, 
153 ; urges preparation for war, 
155 ; thanks House for support, 155 ; 
delighted with support of Congress 
in 1799, 158 ; congratulates Con- 
gress on settlement at Washing- 
ton, 1G2 ; supported for President 
by New England, 1G3 ; in election 
of 1800, 1G5 ; attributes distresses 
of Confederation to financial igno- 
rance, 174 ; his breach with Hamil- 
ton, 177. 

A.dams, John Quincy, on results of 
Gallatin's proposed appointment as 
secretary of state, 295 ; meets Gal- 
latin and Bayard at St. Petersburg, 
302 ; his training, comparison with 
Gallatin, 302, 303 ; given new com- 
mission, 312 ; differs with Clay over j 
fisheries and Mississippi navigation, 
323 ; appointed minister to England, 
326; advised by Gallatin concern- 
ing commercial treaty, 333 ; ap- 
pointed secretary of state, 334 ; in- 
formed by Gallatin of disadvantages 
of a war with Spain, 336, 337 ; his 
arguments in Apollon case disre- 
garded by Gallatin, 338 ; his indig- 

nation, 338 ; writes opinion of Gal. 
latin in his diary, 333, 339 ; de 
scribed by Gallatin to Badollet, 339, 
356 ; his pugnacity complained of 
by Crawford, 339 ; negotiates treaty 
with De Neuville, 340 ; comments 
of Gallatin upon, 340 ; appoints 
Rush secretary of treasury, 342 ; 
offers mission to England to Galla- 
tin, 342, 343 ; promises Gallatin 
carte blanche, but gives him full 
instructions, 343 ; his instructions 
to Rush printed, 345 ; warns Galla- 
tin to yield nothing, 346 ; congratu- 
lates Gallatin on his success, 348 ; 
candidate for presidency, 356 ; 
elected by House of Representa- 
tives, 358 ; at meeting of New York 
Historical Society, 384 ; Gallatin's 
friendly greeting to, 384 ; eulogizes 
Gallatin, 384, 385 ; his changing 
party compared with Gallatin's 
steadiness, 385 ; death, 386. 

Adams, William, on English peace 
commission, 316. 

Addington, Henry, on Clay's tone as 
diplomat, 345. 

Adet, P. A., French minister, imperils 
sympathy for France by impudence 
to Washington, 128 ; condemned by 
Federalists, 134 ; recommends tri- 
color, 153. 

Aix-la-Chapelle, Congress of, 337. 

Alexander, Emperor of Russia, au- 
thorizes renewal of mediation, 308 ; 
fails to inform Romanzoff of Cas- 
tlereagh's refusal, 311, 312; vain 
efforts of Crawford to secure inter- 
view with, 315 ; promises Lafayette 
to use influence in behalf of United 
States, 315 ; has interview with 
Gallatin, 315 ; informs Gallatin 
that he can do nothing more, 316. 



Algiers, treaty with, 117, 118. 

Alien Bill, debate and passage in 
House, 152 ; petitions against, in 
Congress, 157. 

Allegheny County, its part in Whiskey 
Insurrection, 49, 68, 78, 96 ; elects 
Gallatin to Congress, 93, 127. 

Allegre, Sophie, marries Gallatin, her 
character and death, 30. 

Allegre, William, father-in-law of Gal- 
latin, 30. 

Allen, , in debate on French rela- 
tions, 136 ; attacks Gallatin as a 
French agent, 150. 

Allston, Joseph W., at free trade con- 
vention, 1831, 241. 

American Ethnological Society, 
founded by Gallatin, 379 ; its trans- 
actions, 379, 380. 

Ames, Fisher, leading orator of Fed- 
eralists, 99 ; his speech on the Jay 
treaty, 120, 121 ; reports answer to 
President's Message, 128 ; defends 
it against Giles, 129 ; leaves Con- 
gress, his oratory, 133. 

Anderson, Professor, member of " The 
Club," 367. 

Anti-Federalists, call convention to 
organize in favor of amending Con- 
stitution, 37 ; adopt resolutions to 
organize throughout the State, 39, 
40 ; recommend amendments by 
petition, 40. 

Apollon, seizure of, explained by Gal- 
latin and Adams, 338. 

Army, reduction of, advocated by 
Gallatin, 108, 123, 129, 130, 186, 188 ; 
his course defended, 216. 

Arnold, Benedict, effect of his trea- 
son, 12 ; campaign of Lafayette 
against, 371. 

Ashburton, Lord. See Baring, Alex- 

Astor, John Jacob, assists Gallatin to 
float loan, 214 ; wishes destruction 
of United States Bank, 259 ; sub- 
scribes capital of bank on condition 
that Gallatin manage its affairs, 
269 ; his fur enterprise, 287 ; offered 
protection by Jefferson, 288 ; his 
settlement at Astoria, 288 ; unable 
to persuade Madison to support 
him, 288. 

Astoria, foundation and history of, 

Atwater, , member of Ethnologi- 
cal Society, 379. 

Bache, Franklin, educated at Ge- 
neva, 4 ; attacks Washington as a 
defaulter, in "Aurora," 104. 

Bache, Richard, letter to, furnished 
by Franklin to Gallatin, 11. 

Bacourt, M. de, describes Gallatin in 
old age, 386. 

Badollet, Jean, college friend of Gal- 
latin, 5 ; Arcadian schemes of, 9 ; 
letter of Gallatin to, 9 ; letters of 
Serre to, on life in Maine, 15, 25 ; 
informs Gallatin of troubles in 
Geneva, 25 ; at Gallatin's invita- 
tion, joins him in America, 25, 26 ; 
established at Greensburg, 27 ; let- 
ter of Gallatin to, 43 ; with Galla- 
tin at anti-excise convention, 52 ; ad- 
vised by Gallatin to avoid United 
States marshal, 55 ; letter of Gal- 
latin to, on French Revolution, 
56 ; letter of Gallatin to, on his 
wife, 59 ; instructed by Gallatin to 
secure reelection of unseated mem- 
bers of legislature, 95 ; given an 
office by Gallatin, 287, 326 ; remark 
of Gallatin to, 299 ; letter of Galla- 
tin to, on J. Q. Adams, 339 ; takes 
shares in Gallatin's land scheme, 

361 ; manages store for Gallatin, 

362 ; letters of Gallatin to, 365, 370. 
Balbi, quotes Gallatin in his Atlas, 


Baldwin, Abraham, on committee on 
finance, 106. 

Bank of North America, established by 
Morris, 172, 248 ; its purpose, 248 ; 
organization, 248, 249 ; difficulties 
of starting, 249, 260 ; its services, 
249 ; jealousy of Pennsylvania to- 
ward, 250. 

Bank of United States, established by 
Hamilton, 175, 250, 251 : its organi- 
zation, 251, 252 ; borrowed from, by 
Gallatin, 204 ; petitions for a re- 
charter, 252 ; Gallatin's report in 
favor of, 252-254 ; a re-charter re- 
fused, 231, 254; its value, 255; 
opinion of Gallatin on, 255; con- 



trols state banks, 259 ; desire of 
Astor to crush, 259 ; remits specie 
to foreign stockholders, 2G0 ; its 
dissolution causes panic, 262, 263 ; 
reincorporation proposed, 265 ; ve- 
toed, then approved, by Madison, 
265 ; its subsequent history, 266 ; 
helps resumption of specie pay- 
ments, 267 ; presidency of, declined 
by Gallatin, 268 ; deposits removed 
from, by Taney, 269 ; accepts char- 
ter from Pennsylvania, 271 ; its 
subsequent career, 271 ; fails in 
1839, 276 ; weakness of Madison 
in 1812 in allowing its dissolution, 

Bank, National, of New York, con- 
nection of Gallatin with, 269-277. 

Banks, state, difficulty of controlling 
their issues, 256 ; their evil effects, 
257; status in 1811, 258; increase 
after termination of Hank of United 
States, 261, 262; suspend payment 
in 1815, 262 ; agree to resume, 267 ; 
supported by second Bank of United 
States, 267; Gallatin's " Considera- 
tions on," etc., 268; connection of 
Gallatin with, 26D-277 ; speculation 
craze of, in 1836, 271, 272 ; suspend 
payment in 1837, 272 ; conventions 
of, to prepare for resumption, 273- 
275 ; aided by Treasury, 275 ; " Sug- 
gestions" of Gallatin, 277. 

Barbour, Philip P., presides over free 
trade convention in 1831, 241. 

Baring, Alexander, explains to Gal- 
latin British reasons for refusing 
Russian mediation, 306, 307 ; reply 
of Gallatin, 309 ; urges Gallatin to 
visit England, 311 ; requested by 
Gallatin to send passports, 313; 
his mission to America, 349, 350 ; 
his manner of negotiation with Web- 
ster, 350 ; visits Gallatin, 350 ; com- 
parison with Gallatin, 350 ; his 
death, 386. 

Barings, connection with Louisiana 
purchase, 193, 195 ; competition of 
Bank of United States with, 271 ; 
letter of Gallatin to, 305. 

fiarras, Comte, encouraged by Napo- 
leon's success to bold measures 
against United States, 132. 

Bartlett, John Russell, gives anec- 
dotes of Gallatin, 13, 22. 

Bartlett, , member of Ethnologi- 
cal Society, 379. 

Bathurst, Lord, promises to appoint 
peace commissioners, 314 ; reopens 
negotiations, 319 ; insists on posses- 
sion of part of Maine, 321. 

Bayard, James A., elected to Con- 
gress, 132 ; on legislative encroach- 
ments on executive, 143 ; on resolu- 
tion to furnish foreign correspond- 
ence, 156 ; defends Sedition Law by 
a clever amendment, 159 ; moves 
committee to arrange for balloting 
in 1800, 166 ; accompanies Gallatin 
as peace commissioner, 301, 302 ; 
willing to accept an informal re- 
nunciation of impressment, 305 ; 
goes to Amsterdam, 312 ; on new 
commission to treat directly, 312 ; 
visits London, 313 ; asks Monroe for 
authority to negotiate anywhere, 
314 ; appointed minister to Russia, 

Baylies, , his report on Western 

territory complained of by Eng- 
land, 345. 

Bentham, Jeremy, works translated 
by Dumont, 5 ; influences Gallatin, 

Bentson, , on Astor's hostility to 

United States Bank, 259. 

Berlin and Milan decrees, negotia- 
tions for compensation for seizures 
under, 333. 

Biddle, C. C, at free trade conven- 
tion in 1831, 241. 

Biddle, Nicholas, in panic of 1837, 

Blount, William, on committee on 
finance, 107 ; impeached, 138. 

Bonaparte, Jerome, his flight to Amer- 
ica, 332. 

Bonaparte, Napoleon, his precocity 
compared to that of Gallatin, 32 ; 
effect of his Italian successes on 
French policy, 132, 139 ; adopts 
conciliatory tone, 160 ; issues Milan 
decree, 229; seen by Gallatin dur- 
ing Hundred Days, 326 ; American 
sympathy for, explained by Galla- 
tin, 331. 



Boorujan, James, at free trade con- 
vention in 1831, 211. 

Borgo, Pozzo di, compared to Galla- 
tin, 32. 

Boston, visit of Gallatin to, 12-14, 17 ; 
Puritanical society in, 13; preju- 
dice against French, 13 ; Gallatin's 
opinion of, 18 ; protests against Jay 
treaty, 103. 

Botts, John M., letter of Gallatin to, 
on bank, 256. 

Boundary, northeast, in treaty of 
Ghent, 321, 322; discussed in 182G, 
343 ; referred to arbitration, 347 ; 
argument concerning, prepared by 
Gallatin, 349 ; decision of King of 
Netherlands rejected by United 
States, 349 ; documents concerning, 
published by Gallatin, 349 ; settled 
by Ashburton treaty, 350. 

Bourdillon, , takes share in Gal- 
latin's land scheme, 361. 

Bourne, Shearjasbub, on committee on 
finance, 106. 

Brackenridge, Judge H. H,, on Galla- 
tin's part in anti-excise agitation, 
50 ; in Washington County, advises 
moderation, 69 ; an authority for 
history of insurrection, 71 ; his 
character and policy, 71 ; leads 
Pittsburgh committee to urge mod- 
eration upon rioters, 72 ; describes 
Bradford's behavior, 72 ; his esti- 
mate of numbers under arms, 72 ; 
compares excitement with that in 
1765 and 1775, 74 ; at Parkinson's 
Ferry meeting, 78 ; supports Galla- 
tin's efforts to prevent rebellion, 80, 
82 ; on committee to confer with 
United States commissioners, 81 ; 
describes Gallatin's speech, 82 ; 
claims credit for preventing civil 
war, 84 ; on threats of secession, 
86; defeated by Gallatin for Con- 
gress, 93. 

Bradford, David, represents "Wash- 
ington County in anti-excise pro- 
ceedings, 51 ; elected to legislature, 
54 ; low opinion of Gallatin con- 
cerning, 54 ; tries to shirk respon- 
sibility, 69 ; then determines on 
extreme measures, robs mail, 69 ; 
calls for armed resistance, 70 ; una- 

ble to countermand order, 70 ; as- 
sumes office of major-general, 72; 
his haraugue to the insurgents, 73 ; 
at meeting at Parkinson's Ferry, 
78 ; advocates armed resistance, 79 ; 
on committee on resolutions, 80; 
named to confer with United States 
commissioners, 81 ; urges rejection 
of their terms, 81, 82; excepted 
from amnesty, flies from the coun- 
try, 84, 85. 

Bradford, James, in anti-excise con- 
vention, 52. 

Bradford, , member of Ethnolo- 
gical Society, 379. 

Bradish, Uutber, his eulogy of Galla- 
tin, 388. 

Breading, Nicholas, in Pennsylvania 
ratifying convention, 35. 

Breckenridge, John, his brief career, 

Brevoort, , member of " The 

Club," 367. 

Brodhead, John Romeyn, orator at 
fortieth anniversary of New York 
Historical Society, 384. 

Buck, Daniel, on committee on fi- 
nance, 107. 

Burke. Edmund, on place of revenue 
in the state, 218. 

Burr, Aaron, his connection with 
Dayton, 104 ; in presidential elec- 
tion of 1800, 1C3, 164, 166, 167; 
alienated from Jefferson by refusal 
to appoint Davis, 282. 

Cabinet, its lack of financial coop- 
eration under Jefferson, 18S ; criti- 
cises Jefferson's messages, 283 ; 
weekly meetings of, suggested by 
Gallatin, 283 ; absence of system 
in, 284 ; dissensions and reorganiza- 
tion under Madison, 296, 297. 

Cabot, George, on committee to con- 
sider Gallatin's eligibility to sen- 
ate, 61. 

Calhoun, John C, reports plan for 
a national bank, 265; ascribes Gal- 
latin's disregard of Adams's argu- 
ments in Apollcn case to " pride," 
338; Gallatin's opinion of, 355; 
elected Vice-President, 358 ; on Gal- 
latin's ethnological studies, 378. 



California, discovery of gold in, 353, 

Campbell, George W., furnished with 
report by Gallatin on injuries of 
Great Britain, 292, 303 ; secretary 
of treasury, 312. 

Canning, George, his policy toward 
United States, 225, 295, 344 ; -atti- 
tude of Gallatin toward, in nego- 
tiation, 345; death, 347. 

Carnahan, Dr., describes entry of 
Whiskey Rebellion prisoners into 
Cannonsburg, 91. 

Castlereagh, Lord, discourages offer 
of Russia to mediate, 304 ; gives 
assurance of safety to cartel-ship, 
307 ; refuses second offer of media- 
tion, 311 ; offers to deal directly, 
312 ; member of cabinet most fa- 
vorable to America, 314 ; advises 
English commissioners to moderate 
demands, 319 ; approves treaty of 
Ghent, 32G ; arranges commercial 
convention with Gallatiu, 326 ; ex- 
presses friendly feelings, 335. 

Cazenove, , takes shares in Galla- 
tin's land scheme, 3G1. 

Charles X., in Revolution of 1830, 370, 

Chase, Salmon P., negotiations with 
Treasury Note Committee, 196 and 
note ; follows Gallatin's treasury- 
note plan, 209 ; organizes national 
banking system, 25G. 

Chateaubriand, succeeds Montmo- 
renci, 340; negotiates unsuccessfully 
with Gallatin, 341 ; quotes Gallatin's 
statement of Cuban question, 346. 

Cheriot, , takes share in Galla- 
tin's land scheme, 361. 

Chesapeake, captured by Leopard, 

Chevalier, Michel, his studies on 
money, 278. 

Cheves, Langdon, at free trade con- 
vention in 1831, 241. 

Choteau, Pierre Louis, meets Galla- 
tin, his influence over Indians, 287, 

Circourt, Count de, reviews Gallatin's 
" Synopsis of the Indian Tribes," 

Civil service, monopolized by Feder- 

alists, 280 ; demands of Republicans 
for a share in, 281 ; Gallatin's opin- 
ion of appointments to and con- 
duct of, 281 ; intention of Jefferson 
to give one half of, to Republicans, 

Clare, Thomas, his house the head- 
quarters of Gallatin in 1784, 22, 
24 ; rents Gallatin a house, 25. 

Clay, Henry, denounces Gallatin for 
advocating free trade, 242 ; apolo- 
gizes, 242 ; on peace commission, 
312 ; arrives at Gottenburg, 313 ; 
corresponds with Gallatin concern- 
ing place of negotiation, 314 ; differs 
with Adams over Mississippi navi- 
gation and fisheries, 323 ; joins Gal- 
latin in England, 326 ; urges Galla- 
tin to accept mission to Panama 
Congress, 342 ; letter of Gallatin 
to, on instructions as minister to 
England, 343 ; tone of his diplo- 
matic correspondence, 345; Galla- 
tin's opinion of, 356 ; resignation of 
Gallatin in his favor, 358 ; secures 
election of Adams, 358. 

Clinton, George, marriage of his 
daughter to Genet, 102. 

" Club, The," in New York, Gallatin's 
membership of, 3G6, 367. 

Coast survey, established, 290. 

Coinage, debate concerning, in Con- 
gress, 140 ; regulated by Morris, 

Coles, Edward, letter of Gallatin to, 

Confederation, Articles of, political 
conditions under, 33, 34. 

Congress, adopts amendments to Con- 
stitution suggested by New York 
and Virginia, 40 ; passes excise law, 
49 ; modifies it, 52 ; gives state 
courts jurisdiction in excise cases, 
67 ; receives tricolor from France, 
130; complained of by Jefferson as 
weak, 138 ; suspends commercial 
intercourse with France, 151 ; 
passes acts authorizing naval de- 
fense, 153 ; presence of Washing- 
ton, Pinckney, and Hamilton at, 
in 1798, 155 ; speech of Adams to, 
155 ; responsibility for war thrown 
upon, by Madison, 205; authorizes 



loan in 1812, 209, 212; damages 
Treasury by procrastination, 212 ; 
supports Gallatin's policy of extin- 
guishing debt, 215 ; repeals internal 
revenue act, 221 ; passes embargo, 
225; extends terms of credit on 
revenue bonds, 22G ; refuses to re- 
charter the bank, 231, 254 ; declares 
war, imposes increased duties, 234 ; 
reimposes internal taxes, 23G ; 
adopts non-importation against Eng- 
land and France, 292 ; orders out 
naval force, 294 ; repeals embargo, 

Constable, John, at free trade conven- 
tion in 1831, 241. 

Constellation, defeats La Vengeance, 

Constitution of Pennsylvania, conven- 
tion called to revise, 40, 41 ; its 
membership and ability, 42, 43. 

Constitution of the United States, 
adopted, 35 ; struggle over ratifi- 
cation in Pennsylvania, 35 ; move- 
ment in favor of new convention to 
amend, 3G-40 ; amended, 40 ; power 
of Representatives to appropriate, 
109 ; debate in Congress on relation 
of treaty power to House of Repre- 
sentatives, 110-115 ; argument of 
Washington on treaty power, 114, 
115 ; debate in House on relation 
of Executive to Congress, 142-147 ; 
power of Senate to require treasury 
reports, 1G1 ; in relation to state 
bills of credit, 257 ; question of 
power of United States to acquire 
territory, 285 ; in relation to Na- 
tional University, 291 ; to annexa- 
tion of Texas, 351. 

Cook, Edward, presides over meeting 
of whiskey insurgents at Parkin- 
son's Ferry, 79 ; indorses resolu- 
tion to submit to terms of United 
States commissioners, 83. 

Cooper, Dr. Samuel, interested in 
Gallatin through Madame Pictet, 

Couronne, , takes shares in Gal- 
latin's land scheme, 361. 

Crawford, William H., follows Galla- 
tin's treasury policy, 215 ; at Gal- 
latin's suggestion, urges Emperor 

again to mediate, 315 ; complains 
of Adams's pugnacity, 339 ; wishes 
Gallatin to stand for Vice-Presi- 
dent, 341 ; looked upon by Galla- 
tin as strongest leader after the 
triumvirate, 355 ; supported by 
Gallatin, Jefferson, and Madison 
against Adams, 356 ; stricken with 
paralysis, 357 ; nominated for Pre- 
sident by caucus, 357 ; defeated by 
Adams, 358. 

Cuba, avowed intention of United 
States to prevent English seizure 
of, by war if necessary, 346. 

Cumberland Road, reported to Con- 
gress in 1807, 290. 

Dallas, Alexander J., his career com- 
pared to that of Gallatin, 28, 58; 
his parentage, 58 ; secretary of 
state for Pennsylvania, 58 ; friend- 
ship with Gallatin, 58 ; excursion 
with Gallatin, 58, 59 ; describes to 
Gallatin his experiences with mili- 
tia in suppressing Whiskey Rebel- 
lion, 92; follows Gallatin's loan 
policy, 215 ; regrets absence of in- 
ternal taxes, 236 ; proposes a na- 
tional bank, 265 ; resigns, 266. 

Dallas, Mrs. A. J., on excursion with 
her husband and Gallatin, 58, 59. 

Dallas, George M., accompanies Gal- 
latin to Europe, 301 ; sent to Lon- 
don, his instructions, 310 ; informs 
Gallatin of English otter to treat 
directly, 311 ; takes dispatch to 
Monroe, 318. 

Davis, Garrett, letter of Gallatin to, 
on manifest destiny, 352. 

Davis, Matthew L., quarrel between 
Jefferson and Burr over his ap- 
pointment, 282. 

Dawson, John, on Sedition Law, 162. 

Dayton, Jonathan, elected speaker 
of House by Democrats, 98 ; anti- 
British in feeling, 104 ; not influ- 
enced by connection with Burr, 
104 ; reelected speaker, 132 ; intro- 
duces resolution on Adams's mes- 
sage, 134 ; joins Federalists after 
X Y Z affair, 149 ; refuses to an- 
swer Gallatin, 153 ; vote of thanks 
to, 158. 



Debt, public, payment by public lands 
urged by Gallatin, 122 ; its perma- 
nence condemned by Gallatin, 126 ; 
controversy between Gallatin and 
Smith as to increase of, 126 ; at- 
tempt of Continental Congress to 
investigate, 171 ; attempts of Morris 
to secure its funding, 172, 173 ; 
funded by Hamilton, 174, 175; in- 
creased under Wolcott, 178 ; crea- 
tion of domestic loans, 178 ; Galla- 
tin's subdivision of, 184, 185 ; its 
extinction Gallatin's main desire, 
186, 188, 198, 203, 208; stated by 
Gallatin in 1801-2, 191; plan for 
its discharging, 191 ; actual reduc- 
tion of, 192 ; increased through Lou- 
isiana purchase, 192, 193, 195 ; new 
funds, 195, 196 ; funding of debt 
in 1807, 198 ; statement regarding, 
in 1808, 202 ; its increase during 
war foreseen by Gallatin, 203 ; re- 
duction in 1812, 205 ; loan of 1812, 
209 ; declines below par, 210 ; re- 
vives, 211 ; loan of twenty-one 
millions, 212 ; increase in 1816, 
215; Gallatin's policy toward, con- 
tinued by Dallas and Crawford, 
215; eventually extinguished, 215, 
269, 271 ; absence regretted by 
Woodbury, 271. 

De Fersen, his correspondence proves 
guilt of Louis XVI., 57. 

De Lolme, , school companion of 

Gallatin, 5. 

Democratic party. See Republican 
party especially, 358-360. 

De Neuville, Hyde, French minister, 
demands dismissal of insolent post- 
master, 333 ; negotiates commercial 
convention with Adams, 340. 

De Rham, , member of "The 

Club," 367. 

Dexter, Samuel, succeeds Wolcott in 
Treasury Department, 177 ; con- 
sents to hold over until appoint- 
ment of successor, 181. 

Diplomatic history, mission of Genet 
to United States, 57, 102 ; Jay's 
treaty with England, 102, 103, 117 ; 
Fauchet's dealings with Randolph, 
103 ; Wayne's treaty with Indians, 
117 ; Pinckney's treaty with Spain, 

117 ; expulsion of Pinckney from 
France, 132 ; X Y Z affair and con- 
sequences, 149, 152, 153 ; events 
leading up to war of 1812, 295 ; 
offer of Russia to mediate, 299 ; mis- 
sion of Gallatin, Bayard, and Adams 
to Russia, 301 , 303 ; correspondence 
of Gallatin with Baring, 305-307, 
309 ; renewed offers by Russia, 308 ; 
again refused by England, 311 ; 
offer of England to treat directly, 
311 ; appointment of a new commis- 
sion, 312 ; place of negotiation, 314 ; 
futile appeal of Lafayette to Empe- 
ror to mediate, 315, 316 ; appoint- 
ment of English commissioners, 
316 ; exorbitant English demands, 

317 ; suspension of negotiations, 

318 ; alteration of British tone, 319 ; 
resumption of negotiations and re- 
fusal by Americans of English 
demands, 319 ; further English de- 
mands for cession of territory re- 
fused, 321 ; discussion over bound- 
aries, fisheries, and Mississippi 
navigation, 322, 323 ; these points 
abandoned, 323; article against 
slave trade adopted, 323 ; conclusion 
of treaty, 324 ; part played by Galla- 
tin, 324, 325 ; commercial conven- 
tion with England, 326, 327 ; mis- 
sion of Gallatin to France, 330-341 ; 
negotiations over French captures 
under Berlin and Milan decrees, 
332, 333 ; over an impudent post- 
master, 333 ; negotiations with Hol- 
land, 334 ; commercial convention 
with England, 334, 335; negotia- 
tions with France over Apollon 
case, 338 ; commercial convention 
with France, 340 ; failure to settle 
American claims, 341 ; Gallatin's 
mission to England, 343-347 ; in- 
structions, 343 ; negotiations with 
Canning, 345, 346; conclusion of 
convention with Goderich's minis- 
try, 347 ; Ashburton treaty negotia- 
tions, 349, 350. 

Disunion, threatened in 1795, 116; 
planned by New England in 1812, 

Duane, William, intimate with Jeffer- 
son, 28G ; abuses Gall&tin in " An- 



rora," 286, 297 ; appointed adju- 
tant-general by Madison, 299. 

Duby, , takes shares in Gallatin's 

land scheme, 3G1. 

Dumont, Etienne, college friend of 
Gallatin, his subsequent career, 5 ; 
Gallatin's opinion of, 5 ; invited by 
Gallatin to come to America, 26; 
on shape of Gallatin's head, 389. 

Du Ponceau, Peter Stephen, friend of 
Gallatin, his philological studies 
upon Indians, 376, 377. 

D'Yvernois, proposes to transport Uni- 
versity of Geneva to United States, 
291 ; receives shares in Gallatin's 
land scheme, 362. 

Edgar, James, on committee of whis- 
key insurgents to confer with United 
States commissioners, 81 ; supports 
Gallatin, 82 ; presides over last meet- 
ing at Parkinson's Ferry, 89. 

Elliott, , on controversy between 

Wolcott and Gallatin, as to sur- 
plus, 190, 191. 

Ellsworth, Oliver, on committee to 
consider Gallatin's eligibility to 
Senate, 61. 

Embargo, opposed by Gallatin, 201 ; 
its effect stated by him, 201, 202; 
adopted as answer to Orders in 
Council, 225 ; its enforcement or 
abandonment urged by Gallatin, 
228, 229, 230, 291 ; enforced, 292 ; 
repealed, 294. 

Emlen, George, at free trade conven- 
tion in 1831, 241. 

England, anger against, at time of Jay 
treaty, 103 ; renews provision order, 
103; danger of war with, 116, 118, 
120 ; hard pressed by France in 
1797, 139 ; its friendship more dan- 
gerous than France's enmity, 163 ; 
adopts Orders in Council, 201, 225 ; 
commercial policy toward United 
States, 224, 225, 295 ; danger of war 
with, 224, 229 ; Madison's preference 
for, 295 ; events leading up to war 
with, 295, 296 ; mistaken view of Gal- 
latin concerning its diplomacy, 304 ; 
unwilling to tolerate Russian medi- 
ation, 304, 306, 311 ; its policy ex- 
plained by Baring, 306, 307 ; offers 

to treat directly, 311 ; willing to 
push on war after fall of Napoleon, 
313, 316 ; hopes to divide United 
States, 313 ; appoints commistion- 
ers, 316 ; makes exorbitant de- 
mands, 317 ; its policy modified by 
Castlereagh, 319 ; demands cession 
of territory, 321 ; loses intere&t in 
war, 322 ; rejects article on im- 
pressment, 322 ; negotiation of con- 
vention with, in 1815, 334, 335 ; at 
Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle, 337 ; 
mission of Gallatin to, 343-347 ; 
complains of tone of American di- 
plomacy, 344, 345 ; negotiations 
with, 345, 346 ; agrees to renew 
commercial convention, 347 ; re- 
fuses to negotiate on impressment, 
347 ; makes Ashburton treaty, 349, 

Eppes, John W., letter of Gallatin to, 
on public lands, 239. 

Erskine, D. M., his negotiations, 295. 

Etsko, , Polish refugee, helped by 

Gallatin, 372. 

Eustis, William, advised by Gallatin 
concerning treaty with Netherlands, 
333, 334. 

Ewbank, , member of Ethnologi- 
cal Society, 379. 

Excise (see Whiskey Insurrection), 
recommended by Hamilton, 175. 

Fauchet, his dealings with Randolph, 
103 ; condemned by Federalists, 

Fayette County, settlement of Galla- 
tin, 22, 26, 27 ; life in, 28, 43, 67 ; 
elects Gallatin to legislature, 44 ; 
in Whiskey Insurrection, 49, 51, 52, 
68, 78, 85, 96; reelects Gallatin, 
93, 95 ; visited by Lafayette, 365. 

Fazzi, , takes share in Gallatin's 

land scheme, 361. 

Federalist party, its origin, 57 ; pre- 
judiced against Gallatin by his reso- 
lution demanding information from 
Hamilton, 64, 65 ; opposes his elec- 
tion to Congress, 95 ; reconstructs 
cabinet, 97, 98 ; its leaders in 
House, 98, 99 ; attitude toward 
France and England, 100, 101 ; 
charged with being bribed by Eng* 



land, 103 ; in debate on appropria- 
ting power, 108, 100 ; in debate on 
treaty power, 111-115 ; defends Jay 
treaty, 118; strengthened in fourth 
Congress, 128 ; retains nominal ma- 
jority in fifth Congress, 133 ; in de- 
bate on French relations, 134-13G ; 
in debate on checks on executive, 
143-147; strengthened by X Y Z 
affair, 149; commits mistakes, 151, 
152 ; its badge, 153 ; controls sixth 
Congress, 158 ; refuses to repeal 
Sedition Law, 159 ; defeated in 1800, 
1G3 ; forced to choose between Burr 
and Jefferson, 164 ; bargain with 
Jefferson, 1G4 ; its possible plans 
for defeating any choice, 1G5 ; and 
for nominating a president pro tem- 
pore, 165 ; allows Jefferson's elec- 
tion, 16G, 1G7 ; its share in building 
country, 1G9 ; breach in, 177 ; en- 
joys Republican inconsistency, 237 ; 
monopolizes offices, 280 ; extin- 
guished by battle of New Orleans, 
Few, William, connected by marriage 

with Gallatin, 59. 
Finances, efforts of Gallatin to secure 
minute supervision of by Congress, 
64, 106, 107; efforts to establish 
permanent appropriations, 107 ; ap- 
propriations, power of Congress 
over, 108, 109 ; their necessity to 
successful government, 170 ; finances 
of the Revolution under Morris, 
170-174 ; under treasury board, 
173, 174 ; under Hamilton, 174-176 ; 
under Wolcott, 176-178 ; under Gal- 
latin, 186-215 ; sketch of, by Galla- 
tin, 184; "View of," by Gallatin, 
185 ; preliminary sketch on Galla- 
tin's assuming office, 186 ; estimate 
of sources of wealth, 187 ; estimate 
for 1801, 190; denial of a surplus, 

190, 191 ; plan for discharging debt, 

191, 192; its execution, 192, 194; 
report for 1803 on reduction of 
debt, 195 ; Louisiana purchase, 193, 
195 ; place of payment of principal 
and interest, 195, 196 ; addition to 
sinking fund, 196 ; report for first 
four years, 197 ; estimates of rev- 
enue for Jefferson's second term, 

198 ; conversion of debt, 198 ; full 
treasury in 1807, 198 ; Gallatin's 
consideration of military value of 
surplus, 199 ; on war revenue, 200, 
201 ; effect of embargo, 201 ; sources 
of revenue, 204 ; deficiency in 1809, 
204; report of 1811, 205; demand 
of Gallatin for internal revenue, 
206 ; war estimates, 206-209 ; includ- 
ing "treasury notes," 207, 210; 
loan of 1812, 209 ; estimates for 
1812, 210 ; report for 1812, 211 ; 
success of loan, 210, 211 ; report of 
loan of twenty-one millions, 212 ; 
stock not taken by New England 
and Southern States, 213 ; saved by 
Parish, Girard, and Astor, 213, 214 ; 
review of Gallatin's influence, 215- 
216 ; table of revenue and expendi- 
ture, 217 ; revenue established by 
Hamilton, 217 ; its character, 218 ; 
and amount, 219 ; permanent esti- 
mate of, 220 ; internal revenue re- 
tained by Gallatin, 220 ; his pro- 
posed expenditures, 220 ; repeal of 
internal revenue, 221 ; increased in- 
come, 221 ; establishment of Medi- 
terranean fund, 222 ; income dur- 
ing Jefferson's first term, 223 ; in- 
creased estimates of Gallatin, 223 ; 
internal improvements planned, 224 ; 
doubling of duties recommended as 
a war measure, 225 ; effect of em- 
bargo on revenue, 225, 227 ; review 
of revenue during Jefferson's ad- 
ministrations, 226, 227 ; surplus in 
1808, 226 ; internal improvements 
advocated by Jefferson, 226, 227 ; 
estimates of receipts for 1809, 228 ; 
report of Gallatin to Congress on 
need for new revenues, 229 ; vague- 
ness of Madison concerning, 229, 
230 ; report for 1809, 230 ; refusal of 
Congress to re-charter bank, 231 ; 
report for 1810, 231 ; report of Gal- 
latin in January, 1812, 232 ; proposal 
to impose internal taxes, 234 ; in- 
creased war duties, 234 ; war budget 
for 1813, 235 ; internal taxes, their 
history, 235 ; reimposed by Con- 
gress, 236 ; receipts from, 237 ; pub- 
lic lands, receipts from, 238, 239 ; 
administration of Treasury under 



Gallatin, 244-246; history of Bank 
of North America, 248-250; of 
Bank of United States, 250-255; 
panic of 1815, 262-264; second 
United States Bank, 265-268; re- 
sumption of specie payment, 267 ; 
report of Gallatin on ratio of gold 
and silver, 268 ; " Considerations on 
Currency and Banking," 268; di- 
minution of debt in 1832, 269; 
removal of deposits from Bank of 
United States, 269, 270 ; extinction 
of debt by Woodbury, 270, 271 ; dis- 
tribution of surplus among States, 
271 ; inflation in 1836, 272 ; panic 
of 1837, 272, 273. 

Findley, James, in Pennsylvania Con- 
stitutional Convention, 43 ; repre- 
sents Fayette County in legisla- 
ture, 44. 

Findley, William, describes Whiskey 
Insurrection, 71 ; at Parkinson's 
Ferry meeting, 78 ; describes Galla- 
tin's speech, 83 ; on threats of se- 
cession, 86 ; takes resolutions to 
Washington urging him to stop 
march of troops, 89 ; describes 
seizure of prisoners, 90. 

Fish, Preserved, at free trade conven- 
tion iu 1831, 241. 

Fisheries, discussed in treaty of 
Ghent, 322, 323; unfavorable set- 
tlement of question in 1818, 335. 

Florida, question of its annexation, 

Forsyth, John, asks Gallatin's advice 
as to Smithson's bequest, 378. 

Fox, C. J., his precocity compared to 
Gallatin's, 32. 

France, sympathy of Republicans for, 
116; sends tricolor to Congress, 
130 ; its policy in Revolution, 131 ; 
situation in 1796, 131 ; endeavors to 
get aid of United States, 131 ; de- 
termines to coerce it, 132; refuses 
to receive Pinckney, 132 ; policy of 
Adams toward, 137 ; success in 

1797, 139; danger of war with, in 

1798, 147 ; question of war with, de- 
bated in Congress, 148-151 ; non- 
intercourse with, 151, 159, 160 
adopts conciliatory measures, 160 
commercial convention with, 162 

adopts Milan decree, 229 ; mission 
of Gallatin to, 331-341 ; refuses to 
pay for seizures under Berlin and 
Milan decrees, 333 ; urges peace 
with Spain, 336 ; offers to mediate 
with United States between Spain 
and her colonies, 336 ; conduct at 
Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle, 337 ; 
Apollon case, 338 ; commercial con- 
vention with, 340 ; fails to settle 
claims, 340, 341 ; Revolution of 1830 
in, 370, 371, 372. 

Franklin, Benjamin, gives Gallatin 
letter to Richard Bache, 11 ; com- 
pared to Gallatin, 389. 

Frederick, Landgrave of Hesse-Cassel, 
friend of Madame Voltaire, 7 ; 
sends her a portrait, 7 ; sells troops 
to England in American war, 8 ; 
called a tyrant by Gallatin, 8. 

Free trade, advocated by Gallatin, 

240 ; becomes a party question in 
1832, 240 ; convention in favor of, 

241 ; Gallatin's memorial in behalf 
of, 241, 242 ; subsequent history of, 
242, 243. 

French Revolution, premonitions of, 
in Europe, 6; Gallatin's opinion of, 
in 1794, 56, 57 ; its reaction on 
America, 57, 100 : attitude of par- 
ties toward, 101, 102; its effect de- 
scribed by Gallatin, 327, 328. 

Gallatin, Abraham, grandfather of 
Albert, 2 ; lives at Pregny, 7 • 
friend of Voltaire, 7. 

Gallatin, Albert, his place in United 
States history, 1 ; birth and ances- 
try, 2 : adopted by Mile. Pictet, 2 ; 
his schooling and home training, 2, 
3 ; benefits from cosmopolitan soci- 
ety of Geneva, 4 ; academic friend- 
chips, 4, 5 ; restless, although not 
ambitious, 5 ; discontented with 
political conditions, 6 ; visits Vol- 
taire, 7, 8 ; refuses offer of commis- 
sion in Hessian service, 8 ; quarrels 
with grandmother, 8 ; plans to find 
freedom in America, 9, 10 ; leaves 
Geneva secretly, 9 ; plans to rise by 
land speculation and commerce, 10 ; 
at Nantes receives letters from fam- 
ily, 10, 11 ; relations with guardian, 



11; invests mone> m tea, 12; voy- 
age to Boston, 12 ; finds difficulty 
in selling tea, 12 ; finds Boston big- 
oted and unfriendly, 13 ; his walk 
to Blue Hill, 13 ; encounter with 
inquisitive landlord, 13, 14 ; per- 
suaded by Madame De Lesdernier, 
mikes trading voyage to Machias, 
14 ; frontier life there, 15, 16 ; 
commands earthwork at Passama- 
quoddy, 1G ; meets La Perouse, 1G ; 
returns to Boston and teaches 
^French, 17 ; recommended by 
Mile. Pictet to Dr. Cooper, 17 ; 
teaches French successfully in Har- 
vard College, 17, 18 ; glad to leave 
Boston at conclusion of war, 18 ; 
visits New York, 18 ; meets Sa- 
vary, 19 ; dissolves partnership with 
Serre, 19 ; meets Pelatiah Web- 
ster at Philadelphia, 19 ; accom- 
panies Savary to Richmond, 19 ; de- 
cides definitely not to return to Ge- 
neva, 20 ; joins Savary in land spec- 
ulations in West Virginia, 20, 21 ; 
his aversion to debt, 21 ; returns 
to Philadelphia and leads exploring 
party down Ohio, 21 ; at George's 
Creek builds log-house and opens 
store, 22 ; encounters Washington, 
22 ; declines Washington's offer to 
become land agent, 23 ; enjoys a 
winter in Richmond society, 23 ; 
his gratitude for hospitality and 
kindness, 24 ; commissioned by 
Henry, locates lands in Western 
Virginia, 24 ; interrupted by Indian 
troubles, 24 ; takes oath of alle- 
giance to Virginia, 25; invites Ba- 
dollet to join him from Geneva, 25, 
2G ; purchases Friendship Hill, 2G ; 
rumor of his death causes inquir- 
ies from Geneva, 27 ; attains major- 
ity and calls for property, 28 ; dif- 
ficulties of his life on frontier, 28 ; 
not to be blamed for his choice of 
location, 28, 29 ; offered place in 
office by Marshall, 29 ; advised by 
Patrick Henry to begin in West, 
29 ; visits Richmond and Philadel- 
phia, 29 ; journey to Maine, 29, 30 ; 
kindness towards Lesdernier, 30 ; 
marries Sophie Allegre, her sud- 

den death, 30 ; disheartened, wishes 
to abandon Western lands, 30, 31 ; 
his maturity in political thought, 
32 ; early an advocate of demo- 
cracy, 32, 33 ; probably dislikes 
the Federal Constitution, 34, 36 ; 
an opponent of centralization, 34 ; 
influences arguments of Smilie in 
Pennsylvania ratifying convention, 
36 ; represents Fayette County at 
convention of anti-Federalists, 37 ; 
friendship with Smilie, 38 ; drafts 
resolutions providing for vigorous 
organization against Constitution, 
38, 39. 

In Pennsylvania Constitutional 
Convention. Elected a delegate 
from Fayette County, 40 ; his oppo- 
sition to alteration of form of gov- 
ernment, 41 ; advocates enlarged 
popular representation, manhood 
suffrage, easy naturalization, 42 ; 
takes minor part in convention, his 
high opinion of its ability, 42, 43 ; 
after convention, falls into melan- 
choly, 43 ; wishes to leave Amer- 
ica, 43 ; reproached by Genevese 
friends with indolence, 43, 44. 

In Pennsylvania Legislature. 
Elected to represent Fayette Coun- 
ty, 44 ; describes his legislative 
career, 45-47 ; his influence and ac- 
tivity, 45 ; advocates improved ed- 
ucation, 45 ; supports turnpike, 45 ; 
gains reputation by report of Ways 
and Means Committee, 4G ; advo- 
cates redemption of paper money 
and financial reform, 46 ; reports a 
resolution for abolition of slavery, 
47 ; at first dislikes Philadelphia, 
later prefers it to New York for de- 
mocracy, 47, 48 ; drafts resolutions 
condemning Hamilton's excise bill, 
48 ; takes part in public meeting in 
Washington County against the bill, 
50 ; secretary of convention of west- 
ern counties at Pittsburgh, 52 ; signs 
resolutions advocating resistance, 
53 ; draws petition to Congress, 53 ; 
returns to Philadelphia to find cause 
damaged by action of counties, 54 ; 
advises evasion of federal writs to 
arrest, 55 ; in legislature proposes 



a township veto on taxation and 
popular education, 55 ; wishes to 
visit Geueva in 1793, 5G, 57 ; views 
on French Revolution, 56, 57 ; 
elected senator in spite of insuffi- 
cient residence, 58 ; acquaintance 
with Dallas, 58 ; on journey with 
him, meets Hannah Nicholson, 59 ; 
marriage, 59 ; his family connec- 
tions by marriage, 59 ; later business 
connections with brother-in-law, 
J. W. Nicholson, GO ; takes seat as 
United States senator, GO ; his elec- 
tion protested on ground of insuffi- 
cient residence, 60, 61 ; complains 
of membership of committee to 
consider case, 61 ; his exact status, 
62 ; submits statement of facts to 
Senate, 62 ; is declared disqualified 
by narrow majority, 62, 63 ; his dig- 
nified conduct of case, 63 ; pending 
the decision, introduces resolution 
calling upon Hamilton to make a 
minutely itemized report, 64 ; prob- 
ably causes his own expulsion by 
thus irritating Federalists, 64, 65 ; 
later obliged to answer a similar 
demand from Federalists, 65 ; not 
cast down by exclusion, 65; gains 
increased popularity in Pennsylva- 
nia, 65, 66. 

In Whiskey Insurrection. Takes 
wife to Fayette County, 67 ; at out- 
break of violence advises distillers 
to submit to law, 69 ; his estimate 
of numbers of insurgents in arms, 
73 ; remains at first aloof from ex- 
citement, 75 ; determines to take 
control of movement, 75, 76 ; 
alarmed at probable excesses of 
mob and danger of repression, 76 ; 
delegate to convention at Parkin- 
son's Ferry, 78 ; confers with Mar- 
shall, 78 ; chosen secretary, 79 ; 
opposes resolution to resist by force, 
and moves reference of resolutions 
to a committee, 80 ; succeeds in 
modifying resolutions not to obey 
excise and trial laws, 80; on com- 
mittee on resolutions, 80 ; on com- 
mittee to confer with government 
commissioners, 81 ; points out folly 
of resistance, 81 ; counsels submis- 

sion, 81 ; his eloquent speech, 82, 

83 ; prevents anarchy, 82 ; charged 
by J. C. Hamilton with cowardice 

84 ; his real courage, 84 ; hastens 
submission of Fayette County, 85 ; 
secures adoption of declaration de- 
fending county's action, 85 ; secre- 
tary of meeting at Parkinson's 
Ferry, which makes complete sub- 
mission, 89 ; considered by Federal- 
ists to be chief instigator of the 
insurrection, 90 ; describes conver- 
sation with Dallas, 92 ; again chosen 
to legislature and also to Congress, 
93 ; his election to Assembly con- 
tested and declared void, 93, 94 ; in 
his speech during debate admits 
error of his course, 94 ; urges Ba- 
dollet to secure reelection of all 
Western assenibtymen, 95 ; re- 
elected to legislature, 95 ; witness 
before grand jury in trial of pris- 
oners, 96 ; draws petition to Wash- 
ington for pardon of offenders, 96 ; 
his loyalty to constituents, 96. 

Member of Congress. Moves ap- 
pointment of committee on finance 
to control Treasury, 106 ; appointed 
upon it, 106 ; wishes to put appro- 
priations on permanent footing, 
107, 108 ; refuses to devote military 
funds to establishing Indian trad- 
ing posts, 108 ; opposes habit of ap- 
propriating without debate, even to 
objects already approved, 109 ; sup- 
ports resolutions calling for papers 
in Jay treaty, 110 ; upholds power 
of House of Representatives, 111, 
112; denies that treaties override 
discretion of House, 112, 113; ap- 
pointed to carry call to Washing- 
ton, 114; claims right of House to 
participate in treaties, 114; stands 
beside Madison as leader of debate, 
115 ; insists on separate considera- 
tion of treaties, 118 ; objects to 
Federalists' threats of war with 
England, 118, 119 ; complains of 
abandonment of " free ships " prin- 
ciple in Jay's treaty, 119 ; low opin- 
ion of Indians, 122 ; urges resist- 
ance to impressment, 122 ; sug- 
gests plan for advantageous sale of 



public lands, 122 ; and their use 
to pay lidDt, 122 ; views on taxa- 
tion, 123 ; opposes military estab- 
lishment and navy, 123, 124 ; la- 
ments necessity of payment to 
United States Bank, 124 ; attacked 
for participation in Whickey Insur- 
rection, 124; makes no reply, 125; 
criticises conduct of Treasury De- 
partment, 125 ; opposes principle 
of a national debt, 125; asserts a 
great increase in public debt, 12G; 
defends assertion against W. Smith, 
126 ; objects to adjournment to pay 
respects to Washington on birth- 
day, 126 ; recognized as leader of 
opposition by Federalists, 127; does 
not expect or desire renomination, 
127 ; reelected to Congress, 127 ; 
becomes leader of Republicans in 
House, 128 ; wishes House to com- 
pliment Washington personally on 
his retirement, but not his admin- 
istration, 129 ; describes Andrew 
Jackson's appearance, 129 n. ; in- 
sists on payment of indebtedness of 
States to government, 129; chair- 
man of conference committee, 129 ; 
opposes army and navy expendi- 
ture, 129, 130 : secures passage of 
bill confining treasury expenditures, 
130 ; in sympathy and confidence of 
Jefferson, 133; deprecates debating 
foreign relations, 134 ; wishes to 
treat France like other nations, 

134 ; opposes threatening France, 

135 ; joins moderate Republicans in 
voting with Federalists for address 
to President, 136; opposes appro- 
priation for defense, 137 ; objects to 
employment of frigates, 137 ; fa- 
vors defense of ports and harbors 
only, 137 ; opposes salt duty, 137 ; 
and excessive loans, 137 ; points 
out method of impeachment in 
Blount case, 138; describes his 
desire for moderation, 138; calls 
Federalists aristocrats, 139 ; votes 
against presenting answer to mes- 
sage in person, 140 ; now acknow- 
ledged leader of Republicans, 140 ; 
presents anti-slavery petitions from 
Pennsylvania, 140 ; his opinion of 

use of foreign coins, 140 ; estimate 
of specie in United States, 141 ; op- 
poses proposal to expel Lyon, 141 ; 
on executive power of appointment, 
142 ; wishes to abandon foreign 
political intercourse, 143 ; upholds 
power of House to check executive 
through appropriations, 143 ; makes 
elaborate speech on checks of legis- 
lature on executive, 144-146; and 
on necessity of abstention from Eu- 
ropean politics, 145; practical draw- 
backs to his theory, 147 ; his speech 
circulated by party, 147 ; opposes 
war measures against France, 148 ; 
supports call for papers of envoys 
to France, 148 ; presents petition 
against authorizing private citizens 
to arm vessels, 149 ; opposes bill to 
authorize President to arm convoys, 
149 ; prefers submission to French 
outrages rather than war, 150, 151 ; 
attacked by Allen of Connecticut, 
his reply, 150, 151 ; opposes non- 
intercourse with France, 151 ; de- 
clares Sedition Bill unconstitutional, 
152 ; high words with Harper over 
Alien Bill, 152; taunted by Harper, 
152 ; opposes declaration of state 
of relations by Congress, 153 ; votes 
against abrogating treaty with 
France, 154; continues to harass 
Wolcott in the Treasury, 154 ; his 
even temper, 154 ; opposes bill to 
punish correspondence with foreign 
princes, 155, 156 ; opposes bill to 
incite French West Indies to revolt, 
156, 157 ; opposes authorization of 
President to suspend commerce in 
certain cases, 157 ; opposes building 
ships of the line, 157 ; tries to de- 
feat or ameliorate Alien and Sedi- 
tion Laws, 157, 158 ; aided in sixth 
Congress by Nicholas and Macon, 
159 ; votes with Federalists to sus- 
pend commercial intercourse with 
France, 159 ; opposes proposal to 
amend Foreign Intercourse Act, 160, 
161 ; opposes bill requiring report 
from secretary of treasury, because 
originating in Senate, 161 ; opposes 
continuance of non-intercourse, 162 ; 
his position in presidential contest 



in 1800, 164 ; irritated by influence 
of S. Smith over Jefferson and Madi- 
son, 164 ; reasons that attempt of 
Federalists to defeat an election by 
the House is constitutional, 164, 
165 ; but any president pro tem- 
pore would be unconstitutional, 
165 ; suggests course of action for 
Republicans, 165; probably expects 
to use violence against Federalists, 
166 ; review of his congressional 
career, 167 ; leader of party, yet not 
a partisan, 167, 168; one of Repub- 
lican triumvirate, 168 ; his departure 
leaves party without a legislative 
leader, 168. 

Secretary of the Treasury : Fund- 
ing. His place as financier in Uni- 
ted States history, 170 ; Jefferson's 
choice for secretary of treasury, 
178, 179 ; hated by Federalists in 
Senate, 178 ; assigned to Treasury 
by public opinion, 179 ; doubts his 
abilities and chances of confirma- 
tion by Senate, 180 ; plans to move 
to New York, 180 ; refuses to ac- 
cept until confirmed by Senate, 181 ; 
finally agrees to serve, 181 ; brings 
family to Washington and enters on 
duties, 181, 182 ; his thoroughness, 
182 ; exhausts himself by his en- 
ergy, 182 ; sketch of his financial 
career in Pennsylvania and in Con- 
gress, 183, 184 ; his one principle 
the extinguishment of debt, 184 ; 
publishes sketch of the finances in 
1796, 184 ; publishes in July, 1800, 
"Views of Public Debt," etc., 184, 
185 ; ability of these essays, 185 ; 
outlines policy of expenditures and 
receipts to Jefferson, 186 ; endea- 
vors to systematize treasury state- 
ments, 186 ; points out economic 
reasons for increase of revenue, 187 ; 
urges specific appropriations by Con- 
gress and absence of departmental 
discretion, 187 ; urges reduction, 
both of debt and of taxes, 188 ; una- 
ble to work with other departments 
because of Jefferson's habits, 188; 
lack of elasticity in his plans, 189 ; 
embarrassed by complications in 
department, 189 ; his first report to 

Congress, 190 ; denies existence of 
any surplus, 190 ; explains plan for 
extinction of debt by 1817, 191 ; 
given authority by Congress, 192 ; 
table showing success of his mea- 
sures, 192 ; in spite of Louisiana 
purchase, reduces debt by one third, 
192, 194 ; dissatisfied with financial 
terms of Louisiana purchase, 193; 
novelty of his distinction between 
place of payment of interest and 
principal, 195 ; arranges that Louisi- 
ana debt shall not retard payment 
of old debt, 196, 197 ; his report of 
1805, 107 ; proposes funding of out- 
standing obligations in 1807, 198 ; 
reports a full Treasury on occasion 
of threatened war with England, 
198 ; discusses application of sur- 
plus to war expenses, 199 ; suggests 
methods of war taxation, 200 ; pre- 
fers war to embargo, 201 ; draws 
the embargo bill, 201 ; discusses 
its financial effect, 201, 202; confi- 
dent attitude as to war loans, 202 ; 
his policy supported by Jefferson, 
203 ; realizes that war will prevent 
reduction of debt, 203, 204 ; relies 
on customs, tonnage dues, and land 
sales for revenue, 204 ; reports de- 
ficiency owing to embargo, 204 ; 
forced to borrow, 204 ; reviews sit- 
uation in 1811 with satisfaction, 
205, 206 ; asks for increase of reve- 
nue in case of war, 206 ; proposes 
war loans, 207 ; and interest-bear- 
ing treasury notes, 207 ; insists on 
actual increased receipts, not ap- 
parent measures, 207, 208 ; on ne- 
cessity of upholding credit, 209 ; 
receives authority from Congress, 
209 ; submits war budget, 209, 210 ; 
his last annual statement in 1812, 

211 ; reports need of new loans, 

212 ; his personal friends, Parish, 
Girard, and Astor, save government 
credit, 213, 214 ; fails to negotiate 
loan at par, 214 ; failure of his 
hopes to extinguish debt, 215 ; his 
policy vindicated by successors, 215 ; 
charged with sacrificing defenses of 
country to reduction of debt, 216 ; 
attempted defense of his course by 



" Democratic Review," 216 ; his de- 
termination to follow financial prin- 
ciples and not a partisan course, 216, 
218 ; does not invent new sources of 
revenue, 218 ; his estimates follow 
those of Hamilton, 219 ; estimates 
permanent revenue, 220 ; unable to 
abandon internal revenue, 220 ; does 
not protest against its abolition by 
Congress, 221 ; does not alter esti- 
mates in spite of increase of reve- 
nue, 221 ; proposes additional tax 
to meet war with Tripoli, 222 ; ap- 
plies surplus as far as possible to 
Louisiana purchase, 222 ; political 
effect of his success during Jeffer- 
son's first term, 223 ; in 1805 raises 
estimate of permanent revenue, 
223 ; impresses economy upon other 
departments, 223 ; prepares scheme 
of internal improvements, 224 ; 
after Chesapeake affair recommends 
borrowing, 224 ; and doubling du- 
ties in case of war, 225 ; receipts 
during his second term, 226 ; his 
warning of diminished resources in 
future ignored by Jefferson, 226 ; 
estimates for 1809, 228 ; points out 
necessity of submitting to war or 
loss of foreign trade, 228, 229 ; pro- 
mises not to use internal taxes, 229 ; 
reports diminished income and defi- 
ciency in 1809, 230 ; declares for a 
strict enforcement or abandonment 
of embargo, 230 ; disgusted at re- 
fusal of Congress to recharter 
United States Bank, 231 ; tenders 
resignation to Madison, 231 ; obliged 
to remain for lack of possible suc- 
cessor, 231 ; continues to advocate 
increased customs, 232 ; points out 
that, had his recommendations been 
followed in 1809, there would have 
been a large surplus, 232,233 ; forces 
Congress to choose between a bank 
or internal taxes, 233, 234 ; himself 
proposes internal taxes, 234 ; his 
last report predicts deficiency and 
asks a loan, 235 ; his recommenda- 
tions of internal taxes disregarded, 
235; his previous use of Hamilton's 
internal taxes, 235 ; hie suggestions 
followed in 1813, 236 ; connection 

with sale of public lands, 238 ; un- 
able fully to utilize this resource, 
239 ; earliest public advocate of free 
trade, 240 ; later in career becomes 
leader of cause, 241 ; his part in con- 
vention of 1831, 241 ; draws memo- 
rial to Congress, 242 ; his views fol- 
lowed in tariff of 1846, 242 ; opposed 
to protection, 242 ; violently at- 
tacked by Clay, who apologizes, 
242 ; introduces reforms in annual 
report, 245 ; tries to induce Con- 
gress and departments to adopt 
scheme of minute appropriations, 
245, 246 ; carries system into his 
own household, 246 ; effects of his 
methods, 247 ; on Jefferson's dis- 
like of banks, 251 ; his report of 
1809 on Hamilton's bank, 252, 253; 
suggests its renewal, with modifica- 
tions, 253, 254 ; his testimony as to 
its value, 255, 256 ; estimate as to 
state banks in 1811, 258 ; describes 
hostility of Astor to bank, 259 ; 
left, by failure to renew bank char- 
ter, at mercy of capitalists, 260 ; 
his opinion that absence of bank 
caused suspension of specie pay- 
ments in 1815, 262 ; on Jefferson's 
proposal to issue paper money, 264 ; 
his success a vindication of Federal- 
ist finance, 266 ; opinion of services 
of second national bank, 266; declines 
offer of secretaryship in 1816, 266, 
267 ; urges Madison to restore spe- 
cie payment, 267 ; declines position 
as president of Bank of United 
States in 1822, 268; prepares state- 
ment of relative value of gold and 
silver, 268 ; writes " Considerations 
on Currency and Banking," 268; 
advocates use of specie and limited 
use of paper money, 268 ; accepts 
presidency of National Bank of New 
York, 269 ; his opinion of Jackson v 
270 ; his bank involved in panic of 
1837, 272 ; conducts resumption, 273; 
chairman of committee of banks, 
273 ; submits reports, 275 ; declines 
presidency of Bank of Commerce, 
276 ; resigns presidency of National 
Bank, 277; publishes "Suggestions 
on Banks and Currency," 277 ; con- 



demns paper money, 277 ; declines 
otter of Treasury Department from 
Tyler, 27S ; in the cabinet, agrees 
with Republican leaders on all 
points except bauk, 279, 280 ; pre- 
pares circular announcing disregard 
of party in appointments, 281 ; and 
condemning political influence of 
officials, 281 ; his policy opposed 
by Jefferson, 282 ; obliged to fol- 
low cabinet in policy of partisan 
appointments, 282 ; advises early 
preparation for campaign of 1804, 

283 ; wishes States divided into elec- 
tion districts, 283 ; criticises annual 
messages of Jefferson, 283 ; his pro- 
posal to appoint a woman to office 
condemned by Jefferson, 283 ; sug- 
gests in vain regular cabinet consul- 
tations, 283, 284 ; urges payment of 
tribute to Tripoli rather than war, 

284 ; opinion asked on points of con- 
stitutional law, 284 ; holds inherent 
right of United States to acquire ter- 
ritory, 285 ; disapproves of Texas an- 
nexation, 285; advises Jefferson con- 
cerning Louisiana treaty, 285, 286 ; 
attacked by Duane, for not turning 
out Federalists, 28G ; absence of 
favoritism in his appointments, 286, 
287 ; supervises sale of lands, 287 ; 
acquaintance with Choteau, 278 ; 
drafts promise of protection for 
Astor's fur trade, 288 ; opposes 
vainly Jefferson's gunboat scheme, 
289 ; submits plan of defense against 
England, 289 ; urges moderate tone 
in message, 290 ; devises scheme of 
internal improvements, 290 ; doubts 
success of a National University, 
291 ; opposes a permanent embargo, 
291 ; prepares Campbell's report 
urging resistance, 292 ; receives au- 
thority from Congress to enforce 
non-intercourse, 293 ; favors war, 
293; submits "Notes on Political 
Situation," 294 ; opposes ordering 
out naval force in favor of letters of 
marque, 294 ; his appointment as 
secretary of state prevented by Re- 
publican opponents in Senate, 294, 
295 ; continues to advise Madison, 
296; his measures meet opposition 

in Senate, 295 ; deserted by Madi- 
son in his attempt to secure re- 
chartering of bank, 296; tenders 
resignation, 296 ; bitterly attacked 
in " Aurora," 297 ; accused of dom- 
inating Madison and of corruption, 
297, 298 ; considered by Jefferson 
ablest man in administration except 
Madison, 298 ; unable to command 
support in Congress, submits to war 
policy, 298, 299; asks leave of ab- 
sence and appointment as minis- 
ter to Russia, 299 ; attempts made 
to alienate him from Jefferson and 
Madison, 299 ; his high regard for 
Jefferson, 300; continued good terms 
with Madison, 300. 
Minister to Russia ; Treaty of 
Ghent. His voyage with Bayard, 
301 ; visits Gottenburg and Copen- 
hagen, 301 ; at St. Petersburg meets 
J. Q. Adams, 302 ; his knowledge 
of history, 302 ; lack of diplo- 
matic experience as compared with 
Adams, 302 ; contrast in character 
with Adams, 303 ; considers peace 
necessary because of inefficiency in 
conduct of war, 303 ; abandons his 
former opposition to a navy, 303 ; 
low opinion of English diplomacy, 
304 ; view of necessity of an Eng- 
lish renunciation of impressment, 
305 ; writes to Barings, 305 ; receives 
Baring's reply, 306, 307 ; explains 
case to Romanzoff , 307 ; assured by 
Moreau of imperial sympathy, 308 ; 
warned by him of England's pur- 
poses, 308 ; writes to Monroe ask- 
ing instructions, 308, 309 ; informs 
Baring of inability to negotiate ex- 
cept through Russia, 309 ; writes to 
Moreau, 309, 310 ; instructs Dallas 
as to duties in London, 310 ; re- 
ceives news of refusal of Senate 
to confirm his nomination, 310 ; 
contemplates visit to London, 311 ; 
hears that British government pro- 
poses to treat directly, 311 ; unable 
to return home, 312 ; journey to 
Amsterdam, 312 ; not at first in- 
cluded in second commission, but 
later added, 312; visits London, 
313 ; learns of arrival of Clay and 



Russell, 313 ; urges Lafayette to 
mediate, 313; wishes to change 
place of negotiation from Gotten- 
burg, 314 ; urges Crawford to secure 
interposition of emperor, 315 ; re- 
ceives letter from Lafayette through 
Humboldt, promising aid, 315 ; 
makes official appeal to emperor, 
315 ; learns of refusal of England 
to admit intervention, 31G ; warns 
Monroe of English preparations, 
31G ; visits Paris, 316 ; meets Brit- 
ish commissioners at Ghent, 31C: 
notifies Monroe of determination of 
England to dismember United States 
and attack New Orleans, 317, 318 ; 
despairs of peace, 318 ; draws re- 
ply of commissioners rejecting Brit- 
ish demands, 319 ; explains reasons 
for willingness to discuss Indian arti- 
cle, 319, 320; condemns burning of 
public buildings at Washington, 
320 ; expresses confidence in Amer- 
ican securities, 320 ; has difficulty 
in mediating between Clay and Ad- 
ams on fisheries and Mississippi 
navigation, 322, 323 ; proposes en- 
gagement to abandon use of savages 
in future war, 323 ; the credit of 
treaty due to him, 324 ; his diplo- 
matic skill, 324 ; wins European 
admiration, 325 ; visits Geneva, 
325, 32G ; sees Napoleon during 
Hundred Days, 32G ; appointed min- 
ister to France, 326 ; with Clay and 
Adams negotiates commercial con- 
vention, 326, 327 ; friendly attitude 
of Castlereagh toward, 32G ; on value 
of abolition of discriminating du- 
ties, 327 ; returns to New York, 327 ; 
withholds acceptance of French 
mission, 327 ; describes to Jefferson 
European opinion of United States, 
327 ; describes condition of France 
after Revolution, 327, 328 ; does not 
consider republican form of govern- 
ment suitable everywhere, 328 ; 
weary of politics, declines nomina- 
tion to Congress, 329 ; declines 
French mission on ground of pov- 
erty, 329 ; finally yields to Monroe's 
requests, 32!) ; refuses offer of Trea- 
sury Department, his reasons, 330 ; 

rejoicings of Jefferson over his ap- 
pointment, 331. 

Minister to France. Received by 
Richelieu, 331 ; discusses American 
sympathy for Bonaparte, 331, 332 ; 
received by Louis XVIII., 332 ; fa- 
miliar relations with royal family, 
332 ; negotiates for indemnity for 
seizures, 332 ; annoyed by French 
demand for dismissal of a disre- 
spectful American postmaster, 333 ; 
advises Adams and Eustis in nego- 
tiations, 333 ; returns to Paris, 334 ; 
with Rush conducts negotiations 
with England, 334, 335; tries to 
explain Jackson's occupation of 
Pensacola, 33G ; refuses to mediate 
with France between Spain and re- 
volted colonies, 33G ; points out dis- 
advantages of war with Spain, 337 ; 
succeeds in pacifying French indig- 
nation at seizure of Apollon, 338 ; 
does not adopt Adams's line of de- 
fense, 338 ; Adams's opinion of, in 
diary, 338, 339 ; his opinion of Ad- 
ams, 329 ; continues to negotiate 
with regard to commerce, 340 ; loath 
to return without success, 340 ; crit- 
icises Adams's terms of French 
treaty as unfavorable, but advises 
signing, 340 ; fails to secure satis- 
faction and returns to America, 341 ; 
settles at Friendship Hill, 341 ; 
pressed by Monroe to return to 
France, 341, 342 ; declines mission 
to Panama Congress, 342. 

Minister to England. Appointed 
envoy and minister, with liberty to 
return on completion of negotia- 
tions, 342, 343 ; secures modification 
of instructions, 343 ; complains of 
peremptory character of instruc- 
tions, 344 ; his voyage, 344 ; dislike 
of English and French diplomacy, 
344 ; learns of English resentment 
at tone of American ministers, 344, 
345 ; negotiates with Canning, 345 ; 
asks for instructions as to renewal 
of convention of 1815, 345 ; pleased 
with ability of Lawrence as charge 
d'affaires, 346 ; his threat of war 
quoted by Chateaubriand, 346; 
warned by Adams to yield nothing, 



346 ; concludes negotiation with 
Goderich, 347 ; thinks Canning 
meant to discuss impressment, 247 ; 
returns to America, congratulated by 
Adams, 348 ; his social life in Lon- 
don, 348 ; ready to accept French 
mission in 1834, 349 ; prepares argu- 
ment in Northeastern boundary ar- 
bitration, 349 ; publishes an account 
of facts in the case, 349 ; visited by 
Ashburton, 350 ; publishes pam- 
phlet on Oregon question, 351 ; pre- 
sides at meeting to protest against 
annexation of Texas, 351 ; condemns 
Mexican war, 352 ; publishes pam- 
phlet concerning it, 352 ; condemns 
" manifest destiny " talk, 352, 353. 

Republican Leader. His opinion 
of contemporary political leaders, 
355, 350 ; prefers Crawford to Ad- 
ams, 350 ; requests Macon to take 
part in caucus for Crawford, 350 ; 
thinks universal suffrage compen- 
sates for dangers of consolidation, 
350 ; accepts reluctantly nomina- 
tion for vice-president, 357 ; dis- 
likes formality of nomination, 357 ; 
withdraws to help ticket, 358 ; con- 
siders the election to prove decease 
of Republican party, 359 ; condemns 
Jackson's violations of law, 359 ; 
favors an insignificant or weak ex- 
ecutive, 359 ; visits Washington in 
1829, notes disappearance of old 
regime, 330. 

Society, Literature, Science. His 
land speculations not profitable, 
351 ; plans Genevese Colonization 
Association, 301 ; loses money 
through Morris's failure, 302 ; spec- 
ulates in Virginia military lands, 
302 ; estimates value of estates, 
302, 363 ; ill at ease in general soci- 
ety, 303 ; his establishment at Wash- 
ington described by Irving, 303; 
house burned by British, 304 ; builds 
at Friendship Hill, finds it lonely in 
winter, 304 ; visited by Lafayette in 
1825, 304, 305 ; settles permanently 
in New York, 365 ; frequent changes 
of residence, 365 ; devotes last years 
to scientific studies, 366 ; conversa- 
tional ability, 366 ; chosen member 

of " The Club," 366, 367 ; leads 
conversation, 367 ; described by 
Irving, 368 ; wishes to establish free 
university in New York, 368 ; pre- 
sides over council of New York 
University, 369 ; resigns, owing to 
clerical opposition, 370 ; continued 
interest in French politics, 370 ; 
letter of Lafayette to, on marriage 
of his daughter, 371 ; assists Polish 
refugees, 372 ; interested in Indian 
customs, 373, 374 ; writes for Hum- 
boldt a synopsis of Indian tribes, 

374 ; publishes Indian vocabularies, 

375 ; issues circulars inviting infor- 
mation, 375 ; correspondence with 
individuals, 375, 370 ; republishes 
Synopsis, 377 ; scientific character 
of his results, 377, 378 ; his advice 
requested concerning Smithson's 
bequest, 378 ; its publications sub- 
mitted to him, 378, 379 ; founds 
American Ethnological Society, 
379 ; defrays cost of publishing its 
transactions, 379 ; essay on na- 
tions of Mexico and Central Amer- 
ica, 380 ; authorizes General Scott 
to purchase documents in Mex- 
ico, 380 ; writes introduction to 
Hale's " Indians of Northwest 
America," 380 ; gathers informa- 
tion regarding gold in America for 
Humboldt, 381 ; describes his rea- 
sons for success, 381 ; his caution 
in reasoning, 382 ; fails to establish 
a literary periodical, 382 ; chosen 
president of New York Historical 
Society, 382 ; his inaugural address 
on course of United States History, 
382-384 ; opinion of Washington, 
383, 384; friendly greeting to Ad- 
ams in 1844, 384 ; eulogized by 
Adams, 384, 385 ; his party career 
contrasted with that of Adams, 
385 ; personal appearance and por- 
traits, 385, 380 ; crushed by loss of 
wife, 387 ; death, 387 ; eulogized by 
Bradish before Historical Society, 
388 ; acknowledges indebtedness to 
Bentham, 388 ; his brain, 389 ; sum- 
mary of character and services, 389. 

Characteristics. General estimates, 
1, 388, 389 ; unfriendly views of, 90, 



297, 338 ; his own estimate, 381 ; 
ambition, 5, 10, 58, 127, 180, 328; 
business ability, 28, 60, 3G1, 362; 
cosmopolitanism, 7, 389 ; courage, 
75, 76, 84 ; debt, aversion to, 21 ; 
diplomatic ability, 303, 324, 325, 
330, 345 ; financial ability, 45, 179, 
185, 215; friendliness, 24, 30, 300, 
372 ; geography, love of, 16 ; his- 
tory, love of, 3, 302 ; indolence, 43 ; 
leadership, 128, 133, 159, 167, 357 ; 
literary interest, 382 ; maturity, 
early, 31 ; partisanship, 140, 147, 
167 ; personal appearance, 385, 386, 
389 ; political shrewdness, 76, 95, 

128, 357 ; social habits, 44, 348, 363, 
367, 368 ; temper, evenness of, 65, 
152, 154, 303. 324; thoroughness, 
182, 381. 

Political Opinions. Alien Bill, 
152, 158; appointments to office, 
281,282, 286,350; army, 108, 123, 

129, 180, 303 ; Bank of United States, 
231, 252-256, 262, 266, 296 ; banking, 
256, 268, 273, 277 ; cabinet, 188, 
222, 245, 283; coinage, 140, 268; 
Congress, powers of, 109, 110, 112, 
143, 144, 153, 161 ; constitution of 
Pennsylvania, 41, 42 ; debt, public, 
45, 125, 126, 191, 203, 205, 208, 222, 
269 : democracy, 6, 8, 10, 33, 34, 42, 
48, 55, 126, 389 ; education, 45, 291, 
368-370 ; election of 1800, 164-166 ; 
embargo, 201, 206, 230, 291 ; Eng- 
land, diplomacy of, 304, 344 ; Eng- 
land, policy toward, 228, 292, 310, 
327, 337, 343-347 ; ethnology, 373- 
381 ; excise, 53, 80 ; executive, 
144-146, 359 ; Federalist party, 119, 
129, 139, 140, 164, 179; financial 
measures of Hamilton, 184, 185 ; 
foreign correspondence bill, 155; 
foreign ministers, 142, 143, 145, 147 ; 
France, diplomacy of, 304, 344 ; 
France, policy toward, 134, 135, 
148, 149, 157, 159, 167, 310, 332, 
333, 338, 340 ; free trade, 240-243 ; 
French Revolution, 56, 76, 139, 328 ; 
gunboat scheme, 289 ; impeachment, 
138; Indians, 108, 122, 320, 323, 
373-381 ; internal improvements, 
45, 224, 290 ; Jacksonian democracy, 
359 ; Jay treaty, 119, 136 ; manifest 

destiny, 352 ; Mexican war, 352 ; 
military matters, 137, 289 ; money, 
relation to wealth, 260 ; navy, 123, 
124, 130, 137, 186, 303; northeast- 
ern boundary, 347-349 ; northwest 
boundary, 343, 347, 351 ; panic of 
1815, 262 ; paper money, 46, 207, 
264, 267, 268 ; party management, 
38, 41, 95, 128, 164, 359; peace, 149, 
150, 167, 284 ; public lands, 46, 122, 
238, 239; Republican party, 355, 
359 ; revenue, internal, 221, 233, 
234 ; revenue, sources of, 187, 223, 
232 ; Sedition Act, 152, 158, 159 ; 
slavery, 47, 140 ; Spain, policy to- 
ward, 336, 337 ; suffrage, 42 ; sur- 
plus, use of, 206, 216 ; taxation, 
123, 199, 200; Texas annexation, 
351 ; territory, constitutional power 
to acquire, 285 ; Treasury, admin- 
istration of, 64, 106-108, 125, 130, 
154, 189, 205, 208, 217, 245-247; 
treaty of Ghent, 317, 318, 319, 323 ; 
treaty power, 114; United States, 
history of, 382, 383 ; war of 1812, 
320; war finances, 190, 200, 203, 
207, 208, 222, 224, 229, 232, 234, 298 ; 
Whiskey Insurrection, 94. 

Gallatin family, 2 ; prominence in 
Geneva, 2 ; military reputation, 2 ; 
interest in all its members, 8 ; on 
oligarchic side in Genevese politics, 
10 ; alarmed at report of Gallatin's 
death, 27 ; visited by Gallatin in 
1814, 326 ; claims Roman descent, 
386 n. 

Gallatin, Frances, marries B. K. Ste- 
vens, 371 ; Lafayette's letter of con- 
gratulation to, 371 ; considered "a 
beauty " at French court, 372. 

Gallatin, James, accompanies his fa- 
ther to Europe, 301. 

Gallatin, Jean, father of Albert Galla- 
tin, 2 ; his death, 2. 

Gallatin, P. M., guardian of Albert, 
10 ; his kindness on Gallatin's de- 
parture for America, 11 ; promises 
to aid him, and forwards letters of 
recommendation, 11. 

Gallatin, Susanne Vaudenet, grand- 
mother of Gallatin, her character, 
7 ; friend of Frederick of Hesse- 
Cassel and of Voltaire, 7 ; control- 



ling spirit of family, 8; quarrels 
with Albert over his refusal of a 
Hessian commission, 8. 

Gam bier, Lord, on English peace 
commission, 316. 

Gardner, John L., at free-trade con- 
vention, 241. 

Genet, Edmond C, effect of his in- 
temperance on parties, 57 ; marries 
daughter of George Clinton, 102 ; 
aids Democratic societies, 102 ; con- 
demned by Federalists, 134. 

Geneva, place of Gallatin family in, 
2; education in, 2, 3; religious 
spirit of , 3 ; a resort of foreigners, 
4 ; political situation in, 6, 7, 10 ; 
parties in, 10 ; revolutions in, 20, 
3G1 ; government of, 33 ; visited by 
Gallatin, 325, 326 ; colonization 
from, planned by Gallatin, 3G1. 

Geneva Academy, studies of Gallatin 
in, 2, 3 ; his friends at, 4, 5. 

Germans, in Pennsylvania, oppose 
improvement of education, 45. 

Gerry, Elbridge, on French mission, 
139 ; remains to negotiate loan, 152. 

Gibbs, , member of Ethnological 

Society, 379. 

Gilbert, Ezekiel, on Committee on 
Finance, 107. 

Giles, William B., Republican leader 
in debate, his character, 100, 133 ; 
bitterly opposes address to Wash- 
ington, 128, 129 ; in debate on rela- 
tions with France, 135; loses lead- 
ership to Gallatin, 140. 

Gilman, Nicholas, on Committee on 
Finance, 106. 

Girard, Stephen, assists Gallatin to 
float loan, 213, 214 ; his reasons, 

Goderich, Lord, renews convention of 
1815 with Gallatin, 347. 

Goldberg, , Dutch commissioner 

to make commercial treaty, 334. 

Goodhue, Jonathan, at free-trade con- 
vention of 1831, 241. 

Goodhue, , member of w The 

Club," 367. 

Goodrich, Chauncy, in Congress, 99 ; 
in debate on foreign relations, 143 ; 
on resolution to punish foreign cor- 
respondence, 156. 

Goulburn, Henry, on English peace 
commission, 316 ; informed of Amer- 
ican request for instructions, 318 ; 
told by Castlereagh and Liverpool 
to moderate his demands, 319 ; pro- 
tests against acceptance of Indian 
article, 321. 

Grenville, Lord, sends Fauchet letter 
to Washington, 103; connection 
with Jay treaty, 117, 350 ; his pro- 
position to Pinckney, 134. 

Griswold, Roger, attacks Gallatin's 
account of sinking fund, 65 ; leader 
of Federalists in House, 98, 133 ; 
replies to Gallatin in debate on 
treaty power, 113; his collision with 
Lyon, 141 ; on doctrine of checks, 
143; on bill to punish foreign cor- 
respondence, 156 ; on Senate bill to 
require annual financial reports, 

Gunboats, Jefferson's scheme for, 
288 ; origin of his idea, 288 ; op- 
posed by Gallatin, 289. 

Gurney, , in Pennsylvania legis- 

lature, 183. 

Hale, , introduction to his work 

on Indians written by Gallatin, 380. 

Hamilton, Alexander, his career com- 
pared to that of Gallatin, 28, 32 ; 
amends excise law, 52; demands 
punishment of Pittsburgh leaders 
of opposition, 53, 54 ; drafts procla- 
mation against them, 54 ; attacked 
by Gallatin in Senate, 64 ; depre- 
cates demand for minute informa- 
tion, 64, 65; submits plan for 
crushing insurgents, 76, 77 ; impa- 
tient at delay, writes as "Tully" 
advocating punishment, 87 ; accom- 
panies army to Pittsburgh, 88 ; in- 
vestigates insurrection, 90 ; fails to 
find indictment against Gallatin, 
90 ; dissuades troops from violence, 
92 ; resigns from Treasury, 97 ; con- 
tinues to lead party, 99 ; stoned in 
defending Jay treaty, 103 ; letters 
of Wolcott to, complaining of Re- 
publican opposition, 126, 154 ; at- 
tends Congress as general, 155; his 
influence on government, 168, 169 j 
review of his career in the Treasury, 



174-176 ; his place in history, 176 ; 
his enmity to Gallatin, 179 ; attacks 
of Gallatin upon his system, 184, 
185 ; liis revenue system maintained 
by Gallatin, 218, 234 ; and reenacted 
by Democrats in 1813, 235 ; his re- 
port on public lands, 237, 238 ; his 
organization of Treasury Depart- 
ment, 243 ; his financial reports, 
245 ; on Bank of North America, 
249 ; his report on national bank, 
250, 251. 
Hamilton, J. C, accuses Gallatin of 
cowardice in Whiskey Rebellion, 

Harper, Robert Goodloe, leader of 
Federalists in House, 98, 133 ; de- 
nounces call for Jay treaty papers 
as unconstitutional, 111, 112; closes 
argument on Federalist side, 114 ; 
recognizes Gallatin as leader of Re- 
publicans, 115; in debate on rela- 
tions with France, 134, 135 ; called 
a "bungler" by Gallatin, 140; 
moves appropriation for foreign in- 
tercourse, 141 ; his share in debate, 
142, 146; introduces bill to 'sus- 
pend intercourse with France, 151 ; 
altercation with Gallatin over Alien 
Bill, 152; on resolution to furnish 
foreign correspondence, 156 ; on 
Senate bill to require annual finan- 
cial reports, 161. 

Harvard College, gives Gallatin per- 
mission to teach French, 17 ; his 
connection with, 18 ; gives Gallatin 
certificate, 18. 

Hassler, Ferdinand Rudolph, super- 
intendent of coast survey, 290. 

Hawks, , member of Ethnological 

Society, 379. 

Henry, Patrick, recommends Gallatin 
to county surveyor and commis- 
sions him to locate lands, 24 ; ad- 
vises Gallatin to go West, predicts 
success, 29. 

Henry, Prof. Joseph, letter of Gallatin 
to, on Squier and Davis's " Ancient 
Monuments," 379. 

Hillhouse, James, Federalist in Con- 
gress, 99 ; on committee on finance, 

Holland, vain attempt to sign com- 

mercial treaty with, 334 ; arbitrates 
northeast boundary, 347, 349 ; its 
decision rejected, 349. 
House of Representatives, leaders of, 
in 1795, 98-100 ; debate in, over con- 
duct of Washington's administra- 
tion, 104-106 ; appoints Committee 
on Finance, 106, 107 ; debate in, on 
principle of appropriations, 108, 
109 ; motion of Livingston to call 
for papers in Jay treaty brings on 
debate on treaty power, 109-114 ; 
asserts right to withhold appropria- 
tions, 115; considers foreign treaties 
separately, 118; debates Jay treaty, 
118-121 ; votes to carry treaty into 
effect, 121 ; but condemns it, 121 ; 
refuses to adjourn on Washington's 
birthday, 126 ; adopts address com- 
plimentary to Washington, 129 ; 
new members in fifth Congress, 
132 ; debates President's message 
on relations with France, 133-136 ; 
votes to support administration, 

136 ; considers measures of defense, 

137 ; impeaches Blount, 138 ; enter- 
tained by Adams, 140 ; encounter 
in, between Lyon and Griswold, 141 ; 
debate in, on foreign missions, 141, 
142 ; on relation of executive to 
Congress, 142-147 ; rejects amend- 
ment to abolish foreign missions, 
147 ; debates war with France, 148 ; 
requests President to furnish cor- 
respondence of envoys to France, 
148 ; receives X Y Z dispatches, 
149 ; altercation in, between Galla- 
tin and Allen, 150 ; passes Alien 
Bill, 152 ; message of Adams to, on 
resumption of diplomatic inter- 
course with France, 152 ; passes 
bill abrogating treaty with France, 
154 ; debates and passes bill to 
punish foreign correspondence, 155, 
156 ; debates and passes bills to 
favor French West Indies, and pun- 
ish Spanish and Dutch ports, 156, 
157 ; refuses to repeal Sedition Act, 
157 ; new members in sixth Con- 
gress, 158 ; replies to President's 
address, 158 ; refuses to repeal Se- 
dition Law, 159 ; passes bill to sus- 
pend intercourse with France, 159, 



160 ; votes a medal to Truxton, 160 ; 
refuses to amend Foreign Inter- 
course Act, 1G0, 1G1 ; debates and 
passes Senate bill to require annual 
Treasury reports, 161 ; refuses to 
continue non-intercourse, 162 ; again 
rejects bill to amend Sedition Act, 
162 ; part played by Gallatin in, 167, 
168 ; investigates Wolcott's man- 
agement of Treasury, 177. 

Howell, Richard, leads New Jersey 
militia against Whiskey Rebellion, 

Humboldt, Baron Alexander von, 
aided in study of precious metals 
in America by Gallatin, 278, 374, 
381 ; brings Lafayette's letter to Gal- 
latin, 315 ; meets Gallatin in Wash- 
ington, 315 ; speaks of Gallatin's 
"glory," 325; letter to Gallatin, 

Husbands, Herman, on committee 
on resolutions of Parkinson's Ferry 
meeting, 80. 

Huskisson, William, on impressment, 

Impressment, Gallatin's opinion of, 
122 ; its abandonment by England 
insisted on by Monroe, 305 ; re- 
fused consideration by England, 
322, 327, 335, 347. 

Indians, relations of Gallatin with, at 
Machias, 15 ; trading posts with, op- 
posed by Gallatin, 108 ; Wayne's 
treaty with, 117, 118; danger of 
war with, in 1795, 120, 121 ; Galla- 
tin's opinion of, 122 ; influence of 
ChSteau over, 287 ; fur trade of 
Astor with, 288 ; proposals of Eng- 
land concerning, in treaty of Ghent, 
317, 319, 321 ; studies of Gallatin 
concerning, 373-378 ; the Canadian 
Indians, 373 ; tribes of, classified 
by Jefferson, 374 ; " Synopsis of 
Indian Tribes " by Gallatin, 374 ; 
vocabularies collected by Gallatin, 
375, 376 ; studies of Du Ponceau 
concerning, 377 ; republication of 
Gallatin's "Synopsis," 377; his 
essay on Indian civilization, 380 ; 
his introduction to Hale's work on, 

Ingham, Samuel D., report of Galla- 
tin to, on gold and silver, 268. 

Internal improvements, Gallatin's 
scheme for, 224, 290 ; urged by Jef- 
ferson, 226, 227, 290 ; inconsistency 
of Jefferson, 227. 

Irish, petition against Sedition Act, 

Irving, Washington, describes Mrs. 
Gallatin's manners and appearance, 
363, 364 ; describes Gallatin in old 
age, 368. 

Jackson, Andrew, votes against com- 
plimentary address to Washington, 
129 ; his appearance described by 
Gallatin, 129 n. ; orders removal of 
deposits, 270 ; Gallatin's opinion 
of, 270, 355 ; occupies Pensacola, 
336 ; refuses to appoint Gallatin to 
French mission, 349 ; candidate for 
president in 1824, 358 ; defeated for 
president by Adams, 358 ; his idea 
of party, 359 ; Gallatin's opinion of, 
359 ; character of his presidency, 

Jackson, F. J., his mission to United 
States, 295. 

Jay, John, asked by Jefferson for in- 
formation concerning Gallatin, 27 ; 
drafts letter for New York Conven- 
tion calling for a new convention, 
37 n. ; burnt in effigy after his 
treaty, 103 ; his purpose in making 
treaty, 117 ; said by Sheffield to 
have duped Grenville, 117 ; his 
warning remark to Randolph dur- 
ing negotiations, 118; attacked by 
Gallatin, 119. 

Jay, William, member of " The Club," 

Jay treaty, ratified, 102 ; made public 
by Mason, 103 ; popular dissatisfac- 
tion with, 103, 116 ; sent to House, 
109 ; condemned in England, 117 ; 
debate over, 118-121. 

Jefferson, Thomas, in behalf of Galla- 
tin family writes to Jay for infor- 
mation concerning Albert Gallatin, 
27 ; countersigns Washington's pro- 
clamation against excise rioters, 
54 ; retires from cabinet, 97, 99 ; 
rupture with Hamilton, 99 ; imbued 



with French principles, 102 ; ridi- 
culed as a sans-culotte, 104 ; influ- 
ence complained of by Wolcott, 
127 ; tries to moderate bitterness of 
Republicans, 128 ; Gallatin known 
to be in his confidence, 133 ; com- 
plains of weakness of Congress, 
138 ; unible to influence Senate, 
139 ; loses taste for French alliance, 
13J ; thinks Sedition Bill aimed at 
Gallatin, 152 ; praises Gallatin's 
courage, 158 ; receives tie vote with 
Burr, 1G3 ; probably makes bargain 
with Federalists, 164 ; his inexpli- 
cable submission to Smith, 164 ; 
elected, 167 ; in triumvirate with 
Madison and Gallatin, 168 ; repre- 
sents social equality, 169 ; his sug- 
gestions on coinage, 172 ; urges Gal- 
latin to accept Treasury Depart- 
ment, 178-180; letter to Macon, 
182 ; suggestions of Gallatin to, on 
financial policy, 186 ; not a prac- 
tical statesman, 188 ; does not con- 
sult cabinet as a whole, 188 ; letters 
of Gallatin to, on finances, 189, 193, 
201, 203, 216 ; summons Congress 
to ratify Louisiana purchase, 195 ; 
reelection helped by finances and 
Louisiana treaty, 197, 198, 223; 
urges Gallatin to retain post until 
extinction of debt, 203 ; wishes re- 
duction of army and navy, 220 ; ad- 
vocates application of surplus to 
internal improvement, 226 ; in so 
doing abandons his principles, 227 ; 
detests bank, 233, 251, 280; pro- 
poses impracticable economies in 
Treasury Department, 244 ; suggests 
issue of paper money, 264 ; an aban- 
donment of republican principles, 
266 ; introduces new principles of 
administration into government, 
279 ; opposes Gallatin's civil service 
circular, 281 ; proposes to fill one 
half of offices with partisans, 282 ; 
submits draft of annual message to 
cabinet, 283 ; objects to appointing 
a woman to office, 283 : lack of sys- 
tem iu his cabinet, 284 ; does not 
consult Gallatin on military mat- 
ters, 284 ; agrees with Gallatin's 
view on acquisition of territory, 

285; advised by Gallatin concern- 
ing Louisiana treaty, 285 ; unfortu- 
nate in choice of political methods, 
286; friendly with Duane, 286; 
promises to protect Astor, 288 ; his 
gunboat scheme, 288, 289 ; origin of 
his views on gunboats, 288 ; his 
plan of internal improvements, 290 ; 
recommends national universitj', 
291 ; wishes amendments to Con- 
stitution, 291 ; advised by Gallatin 
not to rely on " general welfare " 
clause of Constitution, 291 ; shirks 
responsibility of decision with re- 
gard to English policy, 291, 292 ; 
urged by Gallatin to enforce non- 
intercourse, 293 ; calls Gallatin 
ablest man in administration except 
Madison, 298 ; regard of Gallatin 
for, 300 ; his love for Gallatin, 300 ; 
letters of Gallatin to, on reputa- 
tion of United States in Europe, 
327 ; on France, 327, 328 ; letter of 
Gallatin to, on difficulty of with- 
drawal from public service, 329 ; 
rejoices in Gallatin's acceptance of 
French mission, 331 ; his opinion 
of Louis XVIII., 331 ; relations 
with de Tracy, 331 ; supports Craw- 
ford for presidency, 356 ; favors 
state rights, 356 ; does not appreci- 
ate decay of his party, 358 ; on non- 
sectarian education, 369 ; his re- 
marks on Indians in " Notes on Vir- 
ginia," 374 ; on Washington's strong 
passions, 383 n. 

Johannot, , educated at Geneva, 

4, 17. 

Johnston, , member of " The 

Club,'" 366. 

Jones, William, secretary of navy, 

Kent, Chancellor James, member of 
"The Club," 366. 

King, Charles, member of "The 
Club," 367. 

King, Rufus, resigns mission to Eng- 
land, 342 ; tone of his correspond- 
ence, 345. 

Kinloch, Francis, educated at Geneva, 
4 ; letter to, given by Mile. Pictet to 
Gallatin, 11. 



Kirkpatrick, Major, defends United 
States marshal in Whiskey Insur- 
rection, 68 ; his farm burnt by riot- 
ers, 73. 

Kittera, Thomas, moves hostile amend- 
ment to pro-French resolution, 135. 

Knox, Henry, resigns from War De- 
partment, 97. 

Kosciusko, his nephew helped by Gal- 
latin, 372. 

Kramer brothers, in business with 
Gallatin, 60. 

Lands, public, in Pennsylvania, 4G ; 
suggestions of Gallatin as to im- 
proved methods of sale, 122, 123 ; 
how acquired, 237 ; sales under 
Hamilton and successors, 238 ; or- 
ganization of sales by Gallatin, 238, 
239, 287. 

Land speculation, in Virginia, 20, 21, 
24, 3G1 ; in Ohio, 362. 

Lafayette, Marquis de, his motives 
for aiding colonies, 9 ; his impris- 
onment, 102 ; saved by gunboats in 
1781, 288, 289, 371 ; urged by Galla- 
tin to help mediate between Eng- 
land and United States, 313 ; urges 
emperor of Russia to exert personal 
influence with England, 315 ; sends 
letter to Gallatin, 315 ; letter of 
Gallatin to, on French government, 
328 ; visits Pennsylvania, 364 ; en- 
tertained by Lafayette at Friend- 
ship Hill, 365 ; his part in Revolu- 
tion of 1830, 370, 371, 372; inter- 
ested in marriage of Gallatin's 
daughter, 371 ; letter to Gallatin, 
371, 372. 

La Perouse, meets Gallatin at Ma- 
chias, 16 ; later meets him in Bos- 
ton, 16. 

Laurens, John, educated at Geneva, 4. 

La Vengeance, captured by Constella- 
tion, 160. 

Lawrence, William B., gives anec- 
dote of Washington and Gallatin, 
22 ; accompanies Gallatin to Eng- 
land, 344 ; his ability as secretary, 
346 ; presides at anniversary meet- 
ing of New York Historical Society, 

Lee, Henry, commands militia against 

Whiskey Rebellion, 88 ; requires 
oath of allegiance, 89 ; orders seiz- 
ure of leaders, 90. 

Lee, Thomas, founder of Ohio com- 
pany, 20. 

Legislature of Pennsylvania, calls Con- 
stitutional Convention, 40 ; Galla- 
tin's career in, 45-47, 55, 60 ; re* 
jects bill to improve education, 45 ; 
discharges paper money and other 
debt, 46 ; elects Gallatin senator, 
47, 58 ; adopts resolutions condemn- 
ing excise, 48, 49 ; protests against 
authorizing vessels to arm, 149 ; di- 
vides electoral vote between Adams 
and Jefferson, 163 ; Gallatin's finan- 
cial report to, 183, 184 ; offers to 
take two millions of United States 
bonds, 214 ; interferes to regulate 
Bank of North America, 250 ; char- 
ters Bank of United States, 271. 

Leopard, captures Chesapeake, 224. 

Lesdernier, M. de, flies from Nova 
Scotia to Machias, 14 ; welcomes 
Gallatin, 14 ; on good terms with 
Indians, 16 ; attempt of Gallatin to 
obtain a pension for, 30 ; letter of 
Gallatin to, 154 ; introduces Galla- 
tin to Indians, 373. 

Lesdernier, Madame de, persuades 
Gallatin to visit Machias, 14. 

Lieven, Count, Russian minister at 
London, 308 ; his friendship with 
Gallatin, 348. 

Lincoln, Levi, views on unconstitu- 
tionality of acquiring territory, 285. 

Livermore, E. S., on committee to 
consider Gallatin's eligibility to 
Senate, 61. 

Liverpool, Lord, advised by Castle- 
reagh to moderate his demands, 
319; does so for fear of healing 
American dissensions, 319 ; accepts 
settlement of Indian question, 321 ; 
resolves to prosecute war vigor- 
ously, 321 ; abandons claim to ter- 
ritory and admits defeats, 322 ; 
letter of Castlereagh to, 326 ; death, 

Livingston, Edward, prominent Re- 
publican in Congress, 100 ; his pre- 
cocity, 100; calls for instructions 
for Jay, 109, 110; votes against 



complimentary address to Wash- 
ington, 129 ; attacks Adams's for- 
eign policy, 135, 13G ; presents pe- 
titions against Alien and Sedition 
Laws, 157. 

Livingston, Robert R., arranges terms 
of Louisiana purchase, 193. 

Lorillard, Jacob, at free trade conven- 
tion, 1831, 241. 

Loring, Captain, takes Gallatin to 
America, 11. 

Louis XVI., executed, 56. 

Louis XVIII., Jefferson's opinion of, 

331 ; gives audience to Gallatin, 

332 ; his intimacy with Gallatin and 
his sarcasm, 332. 

Louisiana, financial effect of its pur- 
chase, 192, 193, 195, 196, 222 ; effect 
of its acquisition on England, 224 ; 
constitutional question involved, 
285, 286 ; occupation of, arranged 
by Gallatin, 286, 287. 

Lynn, Mary, keeps boarding-house in 
Philadelphia, 19. 

Lyon, Matthew, his collision with 
Griswold, 141 ; defended by Galla- 
tin, 141. 

Machias, expedition of Gallatin to, 
14, 15 ; life at, 15, 16, 17. 

Macon, Nathanael, votes against com- 
plimentary address to Washington, 
129; aids Gallatin in sixth Con- 
gress, 159 ; moves repeal of Sedi- 
tion Law, 159 ; opposes non-inter- 
course with France, 159, 160 ; let- 
ter of Jefferson to, 182 ; letter to 
Nicholson, 293 ; tries to pass Nav- 
igation Act against English and 
French decrees, 296 ; on decay of 
democratic principles in 1824, 356, 

Madison, James, secures adoption of 
ten amendments, 40 ; abandons 
Federalists through Jefferson's in- 
fluence, 99 ; leads Republicans in 
Hou.'-e, 100 ; weakness in debate, 
100 ; drafts address to Washington, 
105 ; on Committee on Finance, 
106 ; advocates bill to establish 
trading posts with Indians, 108 ; 
moves to amend call for Jay pa- 
pers, 111 ; interprets treaty power 

in Constitution in Jay treaty de- 
bate, 113, 115; attacks Jay treaty, 
118 ; influence complained of by 
Wolcott, 127 ; not reelected to Con- 
gress, 133 ; his inexplicable sub- 
mission to Smith, 164 ; in triumvi- 
rate with Jefferson and Gallatin, 
168 ; his weakness as financier, 179 ; 
summons Congress, 205 ; anxious 
to evade responsibility for peace 
or war, 205 ; communications on 
finance from Gallatin, 212, 259; his 
indecision as to financial situation, 
230 ; does not accept Gallatin's re- 
signation, 231 ; realizes indispen- 
sableness of Gallatin to him, 231 ; 
agrees with Gallatin as to minute 
appropriations, 245 ; vetoes bill to 
incorporate national bank, 265 ; 
signs a second bill, 265 ; his in- 
consistency, 266 ; urged by Galla- 
tin to restore specie payment, 267 ; 
opposes Gallatin's civil service cir- 
cular, 281 ; not superior on consti- 
tutional points to Gallatin, 284 ; 
refuses to support Astor's plans, 
288 ; consults with Gallatin on in- 
augural address, 294 ; forced by 
senators to abandon plan to make 
Gallatin secretary of state, 294, 
295 ; unable to control party, 295 ; 
favors England as against France, 
295 ; fails to support Gallatin, his 
inexcusable weakness, 296 ; com- 
pelled to choose between Smith and 
Gallatin, 297 ; efforts of Duane to 
poison his mind against Gallatin, 
297 ; not qualified to be a war pre- 
sident, 298, 299 ; sends Gallatin on 
Russian mission with leave of ab- 
sence, 299 ; appoints Duane adju- 
tant-general, 299 ; continues on 
good terms with Gallatin, 300 ; ac- 
cepts English offer of direct negoti- 
ation, 312 ; appoints a new commis- 
sion, 312 ; intends Gallatin for head 
of commission, 312 ; names Gallatin 
minister to France, 326 ; thanked 
by Gallatin, 327 ; leaves him at lib- 
erty to decide, 329 ; offers Galla- 
tin secretaryship of treasury, 330; 
favors Crawford for presidency, 



Malesherbes, C. G. de L. de, his cour- 
age compared to that of Gallatin, 

" Manifest Destiny," Gallatin's opin- 
ion of, 352, 353. 

Marie Antoinette, executed, 56. 

Marshall, James, represents Fayette 
County in anti-excise proceedings, 
51 , 52, G9 ; joins Bradford in calling 
out militia, 70 ; his resolutions at 
Parkinson's Ferry meeting disap- 
proved by Gallatin, 78, 79 ; with- 
draws them, 80; on committee to 
confer with United States commis- 
sioners, 81. 

Marshall, John, offers Gallatin a 
place in his office, 29 ; on French 
mission, 139, 152 ; elected to Con- 
gress, 158 ; announces death of 
Washington, 158 ; draws reply to 
Adams's address, 158. 

Mason, S. T., makes Jay treaty pub- 
lic, 103. 

Mathews, Rev. Mr., member of 
" The Club," 367. 

Mayer, member of Ethnological Soci- 
ety, 379. 

McClanachan, Blair, chairman of 
anti-Federalist Conference, 38 ; his 
ultra-democratic remarks to Ad- 
ams, 138. 

McDuffie, George, estimates profits 
of bankers on state bank circula- 
tion, 263. 

McKean, Thomas, in Pennsylvania 
Constitutional Convention, 43 ; sug- 
gests sending a commission to con- 
fer with Whiskey insurgents, 77 ; 
a^ked to .prevent civil war in 1800, 

McLane, Louis, reports extinction of 
national debt, 269. 

McVickar, , member of "The 

Club," 366. 

Mexico, war with, Gallatin's opinion 
of, 352. 

Middleton, Henry, at free trade con- 
vention of 1831, 241. 

Mifflin, Thomas, in Pennsylvania Con- 
stitutional Convention, 43 ; depre- 
cates use of force against Whiskey 
Rebellion, 77 ; summons legislature 
and obtains authority to employ 

militia, 88 ; succeeds by personal 
influence in filling ranks, 88. 

Mirabeau, Vicomte de, friend of Du- 
mont, 5, 

Mississippi navigation, discussed in 
treaty of Ghent, 322, 323 ; in 1818, 

Mitchell, S. L., on committee to con- 
sider Gallatin's eligibility to Sen- 
ate, 61. 

Monroe, James, presents flag to 
French Convention, 132 ; arranges 
terms of Louisiana purchase, 193 ; 
supplants Smith as secretary of 
state, 296, 298 ; on necessity of re- 
nunciation of impressment in treaty 
of peace, 305 ; asked by Gallatin 
for further instructions, 308 ; re- 
ceives proposals from England for 
direct negotiation, 311 ; asked by 
commissioners for authority to 
treat in any place, 314 ; warned by 
Gallatin of English war plans, 316, 
317, 318 ; communications of Galla- 
tin to, during negotiations, 319 ; 
urges Gallatin not to withdraw from 
public service, 329 ; appoints Ad- 
ams secretary of state, 334 ; gives 
Gallatin leave of absence, 341 ; 
urges him to return to France, 341. 

Montgomery, John, connected by 
marriage with Gallatin, 59, 60. 

Montinorenci, Vicomte, negotiates 
with Gallatin, 340 ; succeeded by 
Chateaubriand, 340. 

Moore, , member of "The Club," 


Moreau, General Jean Victor, career 
in America and France, 308 ; assures 
Gallatin of emperor's friendliness 
and warns him of British obsti- 
nacy, 308 ; reply of Gallatin, 309 ; 
his death, 310, 311. 

Morgan, Daniel, leads militia against 
Whiskey Rebellion, 88, 93. 

Morris, Gouverneur, snubbed by 
Washington for familiarity, 23; his 
precocity compared to Gallatin's, 
32 ; suggests decimal system, 172. 

Morris, Robert, receives drafts for 
Gallatin, 28 ; in United States Sen 
ate announces intention of neutral- 
ity on question of Gallatin's eligi- 



bility, Gl ; but votes against it, 
63 n. ; his rank as financier, 170- 
173 ; plans Bank of North America, 
248, 249 ; buys land of Gallatin, 
361 ; settles with Gallatin, 362 ; fails 
and is imprisoned, 3G2. 

Morse, , member of "The Club," 


Morton, Dr., member of Ethnological 
Society, 379. 

Muhlenberg, Frederick A., defeated 
for speaker by Dayton, 98 ; gives 
casting vote in favor of Jay treaty 
appropriations, 121. 

Muller, Johann von, teaches Gallatin 
history, 3. 

Murray, William Vans, prominent 
Federalist in House, 99 ; on finance 
committee, 106 ; denies discretion- 
ary power of House over Jay treat}', 

Navy, opposed by Gallatin, 123, 124, 
130, 137, 157, 186, 188 ; his course 
defended, 216 ; gunboat scheme, 
288, 289. 

Nesselrode, Count, leaves Russian 
foreign affairs in charge of Roman- 
zoff, 304 ; inability of Crawford to 
secure audience with, 315. 

New England, supports Adams in 
1800, 163; refuses to support popu- 
lar loan, 212, 213 ; plans disunion, 
213 ; hoards specie, 260, 261 ; op- 
poses embargo, 293 ; its secession 
hoped for by England, 313. 

New York, calls for a second Federal 
Convention, 36, 37 ; Republican in 
1800, 163. 

New York city, first visit of Gallatin 
to, 18 ; abandoned by Congress for 
Philadelphia, 47 ; protests against 
Jay treaty, 103 ; settlement of Gal- 
latin in, 365, 366 ; social life in, 
366-368 ; attempt of Gallatin to es- 
tablish a university in, 308, 369. 

New York Historical Society, presi- 
dency of Gallatin, 382 ; his inaugu- 
ral address to, 382-384 ; celebra- 
tion of its fortieth anniversary, 
384 ; honors Gallatin's memory, 

Nicholas, John, Republican leader in 

House, 100 ; on treaty power, 111 ; 
supports Gallatin in advocating spe- 
cific appropriations, 130 ; moves 
amendment to Adams's message, 
134 ; in debate on French relations, 
135 ; desires to limit executive 
through power over appropriations, 
143 ; aids Gallatin in sixth Con- 
gress, 159 ; opposes non-intercourse 
with France, 159 ; resists supposed 
encroachment of Senate on House, 
161 ; confers with Jefferson and 
Gallatin on election of 1800, 164. 

Nicholson family, connected by mar- 
riage with Gallatin, 59. 

Nicholson, Hannah, marries Gallatin, 
59 ; described by him, 59 ; her rela- 
tions to her husband, 59 ; letters of 
Gallatin to, 138, 180 ; unhappy in 
Fayette County, 180 ; her property, 
363 ; unfit for frontier life, 363 ; 
her success in Washington society, 
363, 364 ; her death, 386, 387. 

Nicholson, Commodore James, father- 
in-law of Gallatin, his family, 59; 
visited by Gallatin after marriage, 
60 ; on Gallatin's political modera- 
tion, 138 ; commands gunboats in 
Lafayette's campaign of 1781, 371. 

Nicholson, James Witter, in business 
with Gallatin, 60. 

Nicholson, Joseph H., letter of Galla- 
tin to, on war revenue, 224 ; fur- 
nished by Gallatin with questions 
to ask himself, 246 ; letter of Macon 
to, 293. 

Non-importation, difficulty of en- 
forcement in 1774, 293 ; enforced 
by Gallatin in 1808, 293. 

Norris, Isaac W., at free trade con- 
vention, 241. 

Odier, , takes shares in Gallatin's 

land scheme, 361. 

Ohio Company, its formation and 
lands, 20. 

Oregon question, discussion over, in 
1818, 335; discussed in 1826, 343; 
determination of Adams not to give 
way in, 346 ; joint occupation of, con- 
tinued, 347 ; views of Gallatin on, 

Otis, Harrison Gray, elected to Con- 



gress, 132 ; denounces Gallatin for 
attacking Federalist administra- 
tion, 13G ; on resolution to punish 
foreign correspondence, 15G; re- 
ports investigation of Wolcott's 
management of Treasury, 177. 

Panama Congress, its importance, 
342 ; mission to, declined by Galla- 
tin, 342. 

Paper money, its issue suggested by 
Jefferson, 2G4 ; Gallatin's opinion 
of, 268, 277. 

Parish, David, assists Gallatin to 
float loan, 213, 214 ; his reasons, 
259, 2G0. 

Parker, Josiah, amends resolution to 
punish foreign correspondence, 156 ; 
offers resolution to amend non-in- 
tercourse, 160. 

Pasquier, M., negotiates with Galla- 
tin, 337 ,• pacified by Gallatin after 
seizure of Apollon, 338. 

Pattern, John, on Committee on Fi- 
nance, 107. 

Peabody. George, at free trade con- 
vention of 1831, 241. 

Pendleton Society of Virginia, adopts 
secession resolutions, 116. 

Penn, John, letter to, given Gallatin 
by Lady Penn, 11. 

Penn, Lady Juliana, gives Gallatin 
letter to John Penn, 11. 

Penns, proprietors of Pennsylvania, 
educated at Geneva, 4. 

Pennsylvania, ratifies federal Consti- 
tution, 35 ; movement in, to call a 
second convention, 37-40 ; educa- 
tion in, efforts of Gallatin to im- 
prove, 45 ; opposition to excise in, 
48-55; Whiskey Rebellion in, 67- 
96 ; popularity of Gallatin in, 65 ; 
its law regarding slavery, 140 ; peti- 
tions against Alien and Sedition 
Acts, 157. 

Pensacola, its seizure by Jackson, 336. 

Philadelphia, visit of Gallatin to, 19, 
21 ; removal of Congress to, 47 ; 
society in, 47, 48 ; angry feeling in, 
against Whiskey Insurrection, 92 ; 
protests against Jay treaty, 103 ; 
petitions legislature to repeal char- 
ter of Bank of North America, 250 ; 

nominates Gallatin for Congress, 

Pickering, Timothy, in Pennsylvania 
Constitutional Convention, 43 ; sec- 
retary of war and postmaster-gen- 
eral under Washington, 97. 

Pickering, member of Ethnolo- 
gical Society, 379. 

Pictet, Mademoiselle, adopts Galla- 
tin, her kindness, 2 ; her nephew 
taught by Gallatin, 5 ; regard of 
Gallatin for, 9 ; pained at Galla- 
tin's departure, 11 ; gives him let- 
ter to Kinloch, 11 ; sends him 
money and secures interest of Dr. 
Cooper, 17 ; his ingratitude toward, 
regretted by Gallatin, 20 ; supposes 
his failure to write due to misfor- 
tune, 27 ; accuses Gallatin of indo- 
lence and ennui, 43, 44. 

Pictet, , naturalist, relative of 

Gallatin, 5. 

Pinckney, Charles C, refused recep- 
tion as minister by France, 132 ; on 
second mission, 139 ; returns, 152 ; 
attends Congress as general, 155. 

Pinckney, Thomas, makes treaty with 
Spain, 117. 

Pitt, William, his precocity compared 
to Gallatin's, 32. 

Poles, in New York, befriended by 
Gallatin, 372. 

Powell, William H., his portrait of 
Gallatin, 386. 

Preston, William C, at free trade con- 
vention in 1831, 241. 

Quakers, in Pennsylvania, oppose 
general education, 45 ; petition 
against seizure of fugitive slaves, 

Randolph, Edmund, deprecates force 
against Whiskey Rebellion, on 
ground that only Washington's in- 
fluence prevents civil war, 77 ; re- 
tires from cabinet, 97 ; damages 
reputation by dealings with Fau- 
chet, 103 ; remark of Jay to, dur- 
ing negotiations with England, 118. 

Randolph, John, elected to Congress, 
158: opposes non-intercourse with 
France, 159 ; opposes giving a gold 



medal to Truxton, 160 ; advocates 
abolition of internal duties, 221 ; 
complains of want of system in Jef- 
ferson's cabinet, 284 ; on Madison's 
weakness, 2 ( J5 ; unfitted to lead a 
party, 355. 

Renwick, James, letter of Mrs. Irving 
to, on Mrs. Gallatin, 364 ; member 
of "The Club," 366. 

Republican party, its origin, 57 ; its 
leaders in House of Representa- 
tives in 1795, 99, 100 ; its attitude 
toward France and Revolution, 
101, 102; imitates Jacobins, 102; 
opposes resolution complimenting 
Washington's administration, 104- 
106 ; attacks administration of 
Treasury, 106 ; asserts right of 
House to share in treaty power, 
110-114; leadership of Gallatin in, 
115, 128, 133, 159; attacks Jay 
treaty, 118-121 ; objects to adjourn- 
ment on Washington's birthday, 
126 ; attacks Washington, 128 ; re- 
luctant to affront France, 133- 
136 ; opposes increase of foreign 
missions, 141-147 ; attacks Alien 
and Sedition Laws, 159 ; profits by 
popular dislike of England and of 
Alien and Sedition Laws, 163; gives 
equal vote to Jefferson and Burr, 
163 ; its policy to resist any Feder- 
alist usurpation by force, 166 ; suc- 
cess due to Gallatin's leadership, 
167, 168 ; its share in building coun- 
try, 169; opposes internal revenue, 
221 ; its principles violated by Jef- 
ferson in suggesting internal im- 
provements, 227 ; refuses to renew 
charter of bank, 231, 254; vio. 
lates principles in chartering second 
bank, 265 ; introduces new prin- 
ciples of administration into gov- 
ernment, 279 ; demands share of 
offices, 281, 282 ; refuses to confirm 
Gallatin for secretary of state, 294 ; 
factions in, under Madison, 295 ; 
Incompetent to manage war, 298 ; 
lacks leaders after Gallatin, 355 ; 
its condition in 1824, 356; its cau- 
cus nominates Crawford and Galla- 
tin, 357, 358 ; new developments of, 
under Jackson, 358, 359, 360. 

Revenue, 218-238. See Finances. 

Richelieu, Due de, seeks explanation 
from Gallatin of American sym- 
pathy for Bonaparte, 331 ; de- 
clares impossibility of making full 
compensation for captures under 
Berlin and Milan decrees, 332 ; an- 
gered at American refusal to dis- 
miss an impudent postmaster, 333 ; 
on Jackson's seizure of Pensa- 
cola, 336 ; urges peace with Spain, 

Richmond, society in, 23, 24. 

Robinson, Dr., associate of Gallatin 
in founding American Ethnological 
Society, 379. 

Rochefoucauld, D'Enville, Due de, 
obtains letters for Gallatin from 
Franklin, 11. 

Rollaz, Sophie Albertine, mother of 
Gallatin, 2 ; assumes husband's 
share in business, 2 ; death, 2. 

Romanzoff, Count, originates plan of 
Russian mediation, 304 ; dealings of 
Gallatin with, 307 ; renews offer 
of mediation, 308 ; gives Dallas let- 
ter to Count Lieven, 310 ; thanked 
by Gallatin, 312. 

Ross, James, appeals to Whiskey in- 
surgents not to use violence, 70 ; on 
commission to confer with insur- 
gents, 85. 

Rousseau, J. J., Gallatin's opinion of, 

Ruggles, Benjamin, letter of Gallatin 
to, accepting nomination for vice- 
president, 358. 

Rush, Richard, introduced to public 
life by Gallatin, 334 ; named minis- 
ter to England, 334 ; joined with 
Gallatin to negotiate concerning 
convention of 1815, 334, 335 ; secre- 
tary of Treasury, 342 ; tone of his 
correspondence, 345. 

Russell, Jonathan, on peace commis- 
sion, 312 ; arrives at Gottenburg, 

Russia, offers to mediate between 
England and United States, 299 ; 
mission of Gallatin and Bayard to, 
299, 301-312 ; refusal of England to 
accept its mediation, 306, 307 ; deal- 
ings of Gallatin with Romanzoff, 



307, 308; renews its offer, 308, 
315 ; displeased with recognition of 
Spanish colonies, 337. 

Rutherford, John, on committee to 
consider Gallatin's eligibility to 
Senate, 61. 

Rutledge, John, Jr., elected to Con- 
gress, 133. 

Savary de Valcoulon, has claims 
against Virginia, 19 ; meets Galla- 
tin at Philadelphia and uses him as 
interpreter, 19 ; goes with Gallatin 
to Richmond, 19 ; interests him in 
land speculation, 21 : joins Gallatin 
in locating claims, 24. 

Schoolcraft, Henry R., member of 
Ethnological Society, 379. 

Scott, General Winfield, requested by 
Gallatin to aid in collecting ethno- 
logical data in Mexico, 380. 

Scott, Thomas, appeals to Whiskey in- 
surgents, 70. 

Sedgwick, Theodore, leader of Feder- 
alists in House, 98 ; on committee 
to draft address to Washington, 
105 ; on Committee on Finance, 106 ; 
offers resolution to execute four 
treaties, 118; taunts Gallatin with 
instigating Whiskey Rebellion, 124 ; 
elected speaker, 158 ; at free trade 
convention of 1831, 241. 

Sedition Law, condemned by Gallatin, 
152 ; petitions against, 157. 

Senate of United States, election of 
Gallatin to, 58 ; appoints commit- 
tees to consider his eligibility, 61, 
62 ; votes to exclude him, 62, 63 ; 
prejudiced against him by his ac- 
tions, 64, 65 ; ratifies Jay treaty, 
102, 103 ; yields to House regarding 
specific appropriations, 130 ; con- 
trolled by Federalists, 139; passes 
bill authorizing convoys, 149 ; passes 
bill abrogating treaty with France, 
154 ; amends House Bill to suspend 
intercourse with France, 160 ; de- 
bate over its bill to require an- 
nual treasury reports, 161 ; rati- 
fies commercial convention with 
France, 162 ; still controlled by 
Federalists, 178 ; its hostility to 
Gallatin, 181 ; refuses to confirm his 

appointment as peace commissioner, 

Seney, Joshua, connected by marriage 
with Gallatin, 59. 

Serre, Henri, friendship with Gallatin, 
5 ; sails with him for America, 9 ; 
doings in Boston with Gallatin, 12- 
14 ; at Machias, 14 ; enjoys life in 
wilderness, 15, 17 ; returns to Bos- 
ton, 17 ; teaches there, 19 ; joins 
Gallatin and dissolves partnership, 
19 ; goes to Jamaica and dies, 19 ; 
his debt subsequently paid, 19 ; his 
letters to Badollet, 25. 

Sewall, Samuel, elected to Congress, 

Shays's Rebellion, an argument for 
Federalist party, 101. 

Sheffield, Lord, says Jay duped Gren- 
ville, 117. 

Sherman, John, on accounting in 
Treasury Department, 247. 

Sismondi, J. C. L. Simonde de, on 
paper money, 277 ; praises Gallatin, 
325 ; letter of Gallatin to, 380. 

Sitgreaves, Samuel, Federalist in Con- 
gress, 99 ; on committee to draft 
address to Washington, 105. 

Slavery, resolutions concerning, in 
Pennsylvania legislature, 47 ; peti- 
tions concerning, in Congress, 140; 
negotiations concerning slave trade 
in treaty of Ghent, 323 ; at Con- 
gress of Aix la Chapel le, 337. 

Smilie, John, represents Fayette 
County in Pennsylvania ratification 
convention, 35 ; leads opposition to 
Constitution, 36 ; in anti-Federalist 
convention, 37 ; his career and 
friendship with Gallatin, 37, 38 ; 
in Pennsylvania Constitutional Con- 
vention, 43 ; member of state Sen- 
ate, 44, 54 ; at anti-excise conven- 
tion, 52 ; advises submission to law, 

Smith, Isaac, on Committee on Fi- 
nance, 107. 

Smith, John Augustine, invites Galla- 
tin to join " The Club," 366. 

Smith, Robert, head of faction of 
"invisibles," 295; leaves cabinet. 
296, 297. 

Smith, Samuel, leads Maryland troops 



against Whiskey Insurrection, 88 ; 
moves to continue non-intercourse, 
1G2 ; probably makes bargain to 
secure election of Jefferson, 164 ; 
his inexplicable power over Jeffer- 
son and Madison, 164. 

Smith, William, educated at Geneva* 
4 ; Federalist in Congress, 99 ; on 
Committee on Finance, 106 ; coutro- 
versy with Gallatin over increase of 
public debt, 126. 

Smithson, John, his bequest to United 
States, 378. 

Smithsonian Institution, connection 
of Gallatin with, 378, 379. 

Southern States, Republican in 1800, 
163 ; refuse to support loan of 1813, 

Spain, Pinckney's treaty with, 117 ; 
danger of war with, 335 ; peace with, 
urged by France, 336 ; negotiations 
over its revolted colonies, 336, 337 ; 
rupture with France in 1823, 341. 

Spurzheim, on Gallatin's brain, 389. 

Squier, E. G., member of Ethnologi- 
cal Society, 379. 

Stael, Madame de, interview of La- 
fayette with emperor at her house, 
315 ; letter of Gallatin to, 320 ; ex- 
presses admiration for Gallatin, 

Stephens, , member of Ethnologi- 
cal Society, 379. 

Stevens, Byam Kerby, marries 
Frances Gallatin, 371 ; interest of 
Lafayette in, 371 ; meets Lafayette, 

Stevens, Colonel Ebenezer, Lafay- 
ette's chief of staff, 371. 

Stevens, John A., at free trade con- 
vention of 1831, 241 ; member of 
"The Club," 367. 

Stokely, , appeals to Whiskey in- 
surgents, 70. 

Stuart, Gilbert, his portrait of Galla- 
tin, 386. 

Swanwick, John, on Jay treaty debate, 

Szelesegynski, , Polish refugee, 

helped by Gallatin, 372. 

Tahon, , keeps French cafe* in 

Boston, 12. 

Talleyrand, Prince, demands bribe in 
X Y Z affair, 149 ; makes overtures 
for reconciliation, 152, 153. 

Taney, Roger B., removes deposits 
from bank, 269, 270 ; appointed 
chief justice, 270 ; his reasons for 
the removal, 270. 

Texas, annexation of, protested 
against by Gallatin, 351. 

Throop, Governor, recommends Uni- 
versity for training teachers, 369. 

Tracy, Destutt, his " Economie Poli- 
tique " translated by Jefferson, 331. 

Tracy, Uriah, leader of Federalists in 
House, 98 ; taunts Gallatin with 
connection with Whiskey Rebel- 
lion, 119 : obliged to apologize, 120. 

Treasury Department, Hamilton's 
management of, attacked by Galla- 
tin, 64 ; resigned by Hamilton, 
taken by Wolcott, 97 ; management 
of, supervised by Committee of Fi- 
nance, 106-108, 130 ; condition of, 
deplored by Gallatin, 125 ; charged 
with arbitrary action, 130, 154 ; 
annual reports from, required by 
Congress, 161 ; Morris's connection 
with, 171-173; organization under 
Hamilton, 174, 243 ; management 
by Wolcott, 176-178 ; appointment 
of Gallatin to, 179, 181 ; exalted 
idea of, held by Gallatin, 189 ; diffi- 
culty of learning management of, 
189, 190 ; relieved of responsibility 
for other departments' expenditure, 
223 ; administration of, by Gallatin, 
244-246 ; reports from, 245 ; efforts 
of Gallatin to secure precision in, 
245, 246 ; subsequent management 
of, 247 ; damaged by failure to re- 
charter bank, 259 ; in panic of 

1815, 263; declined by Gallatin in 

1816, 266, 330; in panic of 1837, 
272-276 ; sub-treasury system in- 
vented, 273 ; aids resumption, 276 ; 
declined by Gallatin in 1843, 278 ; 
absence of partisanship in Gallatin's 
appointments to, 281, 282, 286, 287. 

Treaty of Ghent, 316-325. See Diplo- 
matic History. 

Tripoli, war with, 222 ; tribute to, 
preferred by Gallatin to war with, 



Trist, N. P., negotiates treaty of 
Guadalupe Hidalgo, 352. 

Truxton, Captain, voted a medal by 
Congress, 160. 

Turner, Professor, member of Ethno- 
logical Society, 379. 

Tyler, John, as president, offers Trea- 
sury portfolio to Gallatin, 278. 

Univebsity, National, proposed by 
Jefferson, 291 ; attempt to start one 
in New York, 368, 369 ; success pre- 
vented by clerical influence, 370. 

Van Buren, Martin, told by Galla- 
tin of willingness to accept French 
mission, 349 ; manages caucus of 
Republican Congresssmen, 357 ; let- 
ter of Gallatin to, withdrawing 
from nomination, 358. 

Van der Kemp, , Dutch commis- 
sioner to make commercial treaty, 

Verplanck, Gulian C, member of 
"The Club," 367. 

Virginia, claims of Savary against, 
19 ; Gallatin's opinion of society 
in, 24 ; movement in, to secure 
amendment of Constitution, 36; 
disunion threats in, 116 ; ready to 
attack Federalists by force in 1801, 

Voltaire, friendship with Gallatin 
family, 7 ; writes verses for Ma- 
dame Gallatin, 7; influence over 
Albert Gallatin, 7, 8. 

Wainwright, Rev. Dr., member of 
"The Club," 367. 

War of 1812, estimates of Gallatin as 
to cost of operations in, 289, 290 ; 
preparation for, advocated by Galla- 
tin, 292 ; events leading to, 295 ; 
questions at issue in, 305 ; English 
hopes in, 313, 316 ; sack of Wash- 
ington, 320. 

Ward, Samuel, member of "The 
Club," 367. 

Washington, Augustine, founder of 
Ohio Company, 20. 

Washington, George, his military in- 
activity in 1780, 12 ; meets Gallatin 
in 1784, 22 ; snubs him for forward- 

ness, 23 ; later wishes him to be 
his land agent, 23 ; his election as 
president disconcerts anti-Federal- 
ists, 40 ; unwilling to go to extremes 
against Whiskey Rebellion, 54 ; is- 
sues proclamation, 54 ; Randolph's 
opinion of his influence, 77 ; com- 
bines conciliation with force, 77 ; 
issues proclamation, calls out mili- 
tia, and appoints commission to 
confer, 77, 78 ; accompanies army 
as far as Bedford, 88 ; refuses to 
stop march of troops, 89 ; dissuades 
troops from violence, 92 ; pardons 
convicted offenders, 96 ; recon- 
structs his cabinet, 97, 98 ; his in- 
fluence, 102 ; convenes Senate to 
ratify Jay treaty, 102 ; attacked by 
Bache, 104 ; addresses Congress, 
104 ; his administration criticised 
in debate over reply in House, 104- 
106 ; refuses call of House for Jay 
treaty papers, 114; refusal of 
House to adjourn on his birthday, 
126 ; obtains surrender of Western 
posts, 128 ; issues Farewell Ad- 
dress, 128; attacked by Giles, 128; 
proposal of Gallatin concerning re- 
ply to his message, 129 ; sends tri- 
color to Congress, 130, 132; at- 
tends Congress as lieutenant-gen- 
eral, 155 ; his death announced by 
Marshall, 158; invites Wolcott to 
succeed Hamilton, 176 ; Gallatin's 
opinion of his character, 383, 384 ; 
and of his strong passions, 383 n. 

Washington, Lawrence, founder of 
Ohio Company, 20. 

Washington city, removal of Con- 
gress to, 161, 162; sack of, by Eng- 
lish, 320. 

Washington County, Pennsylvania, in 
Whiskey Insurrection, 49, 50, 51, 
70, 71, 78, 94, 96 ; elects Gallatin to 
Congress, 93, 127. 

Wayne, Anthony, makes treaty with 
Indians, 117. 

Webster, Daniel, his speech on north- 
eastern boundary published by Gal- 
latin, 349 ; his manner of negotiat- 
ing with Ashburton, 350. 

Webster, Pelatiah, describes Gallatin 
at Philadelphia in 1783, 19. 



Wellington, Lord, asked by cabinet 
to conquer a peace, 322 ; advises 
cabinet not to insist on cession of 
territory, 322 ; expresses friendly 
feelings, 335. 

Wells, John, member of " The Club," 

Westmoreland County, in Whiskey 
Insurrection, 49, 51, 74, 78, 9G. 

Wheaton, Henry, requests Gallatin 
to furnish Humboldt with data on 
gold in United States, 381. 

Whiskey Insurrection, opposition to 
excise in Pennsylvania, 48, 49 ; rea- 
sons for opposition, 49, 50 ; first 
meetings against excise in Wash- 
ington County, 50, 51 ; combined 
meeting of four counties at Pitts- 
burgh, 51 ; violence against inspec- 
tors, 51 ; modification of law, 52 ; 
second convention at Pittsburgh, 
52; resolutions against collectors, 
52, 53 ; petition to Congress, 53 ; 
proclamation issued by Washington 
and cabinet, 54 ; arrests and riots, 
55 ; attempts to serve writs, 67, 68 ; 
rioting, burning of Marshall's house, 

68, 69 ; flight of officers, 68 ; meet- 
ings of distillers, 69 ; efforts of Gal- 
latin and othors to prevent violence, 

69, 70 ; stoppage of mails, 69 ; call 
for meeting of militia, 70 ; leaders 
of, 70, 71 ; meeting of militia at 
Parkinson's Ferry, 72, 73 ; esti- 
mates of numbers, 72 ; violence of 
feeling, 73, 74 ; renewed outrages, 
74 ; use of liberty poles, 74 ; atti- 
tude of Gallatin toward, 75, 76 ; 
plans of Washington and Hamil- 
ton to suppress, 77 ; proclamation 
against carrying arms, 77 ; commis- 
sioners appointed, 77 ; convention 
of distillers at Parkinson's Ferry, 
78, 79 ; proposals to raise troops, 
79 ; efforts of moderates, 80, 81 ; 
committee of sixty appointed, 80 ; 

arrival of commissioners, their of- 
fer, 81 ; conference of committee at 
Red Stoue Old Fort, 81, 82 ; vote to 
accept terms, 83 ; influence of Gal- 
latin, 84 ; meetings for submission 
in counties, 85 ; apparent failure 
of terms of amnesty, 86 ; threats 
of secession, 86 ; Hamilton writes 
"Tully " letter, 87 ; report of com- 
missioners, 87 ; proclamation calls 
out troops, 87 ; march of militia, 
88 ; committee of sixty passes con- 
ciliatory resolutions, 88, 89 ; re- 
fusal of Washington to turn back, 
89 ; final meeting at Parkinson's 
Ferry votes entire submission, 89 ; 
occupation of western counties by 
troops, 89, 90 ; arrest of rebels, 
90, 91 ; journey of prisoners to 
Philadelphia, 91, 92; end of 
disturbances, 93 ; return of army, 
93 ; confession of Gallatin, 94 ; 
trial of prisoners, 96 ; its effect on 
Federalist party, 101 ; Gallatin 
taunted with participation in, 119, 

Wirt, William, letter of Jefferson to, 

Wolcott, Oliver, succeeds Hamilton 
in Treasury Department, 97 ; his 
situation deplored by Gallatin, 125 ; 
complains to Hamilton of Repub- 
lican opposition, 126 ; complains of 
Gallatin's purpose to break down 
department, 154 ; his career as 
Hamilton's successor, 176-178 ; his 
statement of a surplus denied by 
Gallatin, 190, 191. 

Woodbury, Levi, reports extinction 
of debt, 270, 271 ; then deplores its 
absence, 271 ; alarmed at increase 
of circulation in 1836, 272; begins 
sub-treasury system, 273 ; promises 
to support resumption of payment 
by banks, 275. 

X Y Z dispatches, 149. 





in (iiimfltl 

Kim i\\